Developing Acceptable-Use Policies
In response to the increased use of social media by students and staff, many schools are developing acceptable-use policies. There is tremendous opportunity for improving education through the use of social media. There is also potential risk because social media can be used to access age-inappropriate information and to engage in aggressive online behavior. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that such policies be developed collaboratively with teachers and other staff, families, students and administrators. They also encourage emphasizing the appropriate use of social media rather than an outright ban. The content of an acceptable-use policy reflects underlying values (i.e., privacy, free speech, intellectual freedom, fair inquiry, and student safety). These values often conflict. Therefore, it is important to talk about those underlying values prior to developing and implementing a policy.