5 rules for teachers using Facebook

Like the majority of people, you're probably using social networking sites on a regular basis to keep up with friends, share your holiday snaps and tell people what you've just had for lunch.

However, as an educational professional it’s important to realise that pupils will naturally be curious about your personal life outside school and may try to find out more about you. The internet and social networking sites can make that very easy and leave your information and images at risk of being misused.

Here are some basic things to do to protect you from abuse of your privacy and personal information.

  1. Firmly decline student-initiated friend requests and do not initiate any yourself.

  2. Manage your privacy settings and keep these under review, particularly in regard to photos.

  3. Ensure your settings prohibit others from tagging you in any photos or updates without your permission.

  4. If you're just starting teaching and taking up a new post it could be a good idea to audit and re-evaluate the information available about you online and who has access to it.

  5. Consider that conversations held online may not be private – be aware of who may have access to what you post.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on March 26, 2013 16:00

Using social media to talk to parents and pupils

Social media sites are a great way to communicate with teachers, parents and pupils. Following some basic rules will make sure you are using them appropriately and getting the most out of them.

1. Set up official school social media accounts

To make the most of social media, schools need to set up official accounts; either in the name of the school, or in the name of staff, but always transparently associated with the school – defining and delimiting the usage as professional and entirely school related. That way there’s no difference between a school attributed social media account and a school email, telephone or letterhead.

2. Communicate appropriately

Using a communication platform which is popular with the pupils is not the same as using the communication platform in the same way as the pupils. Boundaries and professional practice need to be considered at all times. For example, in real life a school might display posters for a school event on an official youth centre noticeboard, but a teacher wouldn’t go up to the children at the skate-park to tell them in person. Twitter and Facebook are no different.

From What every teacher needs to know about social media – join to download the full 6-page report for free.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on March 26, 2013 16:01

7 pupil rules for staying safe on the internet

Do your pupils have the basic rules for staying safe on the internet?

  1. Think carefully about the words you are using when searching.
  2. Don’t give out personal information.
  3. Tell your parents if something you find makes you feel uncomfortable.
  4. Never agree to meet with someone you get to know online.
  5. Never send pictures of yourself or other personal materials to a friend you meet online, without telling your parents first.
  6. Follow the rules that your parents set for your online activities.
  7. Do not use skype or webcams to talk to someone online unless you know them or your parents are present.

From Staying safe on the internet lesson.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on March 26, 2013 16:01

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