Taking Social Media to Heart

Image Source: http://tkocher.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/heart-social-media-icon-set.jpg

A colleague emailed me the following request:

Hope all is well with you and that you have had a great start to 2011. Do you have a compilation of district policies/procedures regarding social media (particularly Facebook).  There has been lots of traffic over the years, but I now may need to assist my Communications Director and wanted to tell her what other districts are doing.  If you don’t have one, I may send out a survey.

As I read this request, a few thoughts occurred to me:

  1. It's nice to be one of the people that are asked first about something...of course, I immediately googled my blog, trying to find the resources mentioned.
  2. As I googled my blog trying to find a resource I'd previously explored, I stumbled on a whole lot of interesting blog entries I'd written but then hadn't looked at again about social media.
Here are some of my favorite quotes or points from those blog entries:
  1. "There's no escaping people anymore, and I believe that will yield better relationships," said Jeff Jarvis. 85 percent of 895 "technology stakeholders" and pundits agreed that the Internet has mostly been a positive force in peoples' social lives. Social benefits of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Apps will outweigh the negatives over the next decade because e-mail, social networks, and other Web services offer low friction ways to forge and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people's lives. Source: Read Social Media Enriches Social Lives from Pew Internet Research
  2. While it's easy to ignore the questions school districts must ask in our stampede for safety amidst the Web 2.0 ebb and flow of commercial tools--here today, gone tomorrow, struggling to make a business while offering no-cost solutions laden with advertising--the school district authorities cannot...they cannot afford the irresponsibility of dilly-dallying with every technology tool that raises its head above the surface before disappearing into obscurity.
  3. Web 2.0 technologies allow educators to rebel against the status quo and to incite students to do so as well. It is a result of disruptive innovations, a slow change that empowers students and teachers to publish at will, connecting how and wheresoever they please, in spite of the roadblocks that authorities set in place. Freedom, openness, and transparency are the ideals of the present and challenge the idea that schools should require teachers to work with "walled garden" applications. Source for #2 & #3: Picking the District Lock on Web 2.0 Tools
  4. Learning to share your frustrations constructively, online or in person, defines our success in a world rife with conflict. Ultimately, we control whether our children will behave appropriately or not in schools. Private and public schools can choose to ignore how a human being acts in online spaces, or model digital citizenship. Source: In Loco Parentis, Huffington Post
  5. Recognizing that new social media, digital tools enable me to "create" and share in different ways, I embrace new tools that I can easily interface with existing ones. Each tool adds something to the learning media ecology I am building for myself. For example, Google Reader combines with Ping.fm to make it easy for me to share with a wide audience what I am reading. In turn, this brings me in contact with what others share, or insightful conversations that result. Source: The Power of Choice
  6. As a citizen-journalist, as a person who has embraced social media as a way to share the exciting actions being taken by educators around me, I also see an important need for K-12 educators to tell "their" story, sharing what is happening at their schools, in their classrooms, in the offices, as openly and transparently as possible. My bias is that I believe that most educators live in fear of speaking up, fear of losing their jobs, being censured, being called into their supervisor's office or at Human Resources and asked, with the force of temporal power lurking behind each word, "So, tell us. What do you really believe and why should we continue to employ you if you're going to say this about us?" Instead, anyone with with the temerity to be transparent about the work they are doing should be celebrated and applauded.
    Source: 5 Tips for School District Communications
And, here are the links I sent my colleague:

Image Source:
Heart in Hand - http://cdn.mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/225heart.jpg

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Unknown said…
Miguel. The Texas Assn of School Boards has a model policy available...and the National School Public Relations Association and its Texas Chapter (TSPRA) also offer advice and models.
Unknown said…
The Texas Assn of School Boards has a new model policy that addresses this issue....schools can also get some good advice from the National School PR Assn (nspra.org) and the Texas School PR Assn (tspra.org).

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