Technology is a wonderful tool used in classrooms by students and teachers alike. Apps, websites, and social media can be used to support learning in a variety of ways. However, as teachers, we need to be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding the use of technology in the classroom.
In School District 33, there is an Administrative Regulation (605.1) on Technology Use. Item number 9.a. states: All SD 33 technology users are responsible for: Ensuring that prior consent has been received from parents or guardians prior to posting any student work, images or video clips.
Administrative Regulation 605.2 on Social Media states:
2. Guiding Principles
•All communication with students and parents should be formal, courteous and respectful and should pertain to school related matters.
•Do not disclose any confidential or personal information about students or their families in online communications. •Do not post photographs or videos of students without the informed consent of the student and their parent(s).
•Use dedicated School District sites and tools for online communications with students and parents. Should staff wish to create other sites and/or use other online forums for communicating with students, that communication must be FOIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) compliant, and approval from the principal must be attained. Access must be appropriately restricted (e.g. to students assigned to your class or activity).
Remember that failure to follow Administrative Regulations could lead to an investigation and/or discipline.
Other ways to keep you safe on social media include:
• Never “friend” a student on your personal accounts.
• Monitor photos taken and posted of you (learn how to “untag” photos).
• Set up office hours to “chat” with students online.
• Ensure communication with students online is recorded (transcripts automatically made).
• Never publicly criticize your employer (fiduciary responsibility).
Remember that you are a teacher first and foremost. Even the posts you make outside of the classroom reflect on you professionally.