Net Etiquette and Safe Practice for SD62 Educators and Support Staff
Educators and support staff who publish using the district’s social media tools (currently WordPress [Jan., 2013]) must consult and practice the guidelines for net etiquette and safe practices. In addition, they must respect the district’s existing policies and regulations on safeguarding students’ private information. The principles in District Policy and Regulation C-222 (Videotaping, Audiotaping & Photographing Students in the Regular Course of Activities in the School) also apply when using social media tools.
In addition to School District policies and regulations, provincial legislation also governs the protection of students’ and families’ private information held by schools. For more details users of the district’s social media tools are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act:
Safe practice on the Internet means modeling how to make thoughtful choices about sharing information regardless of whether it is text, sound, images or videos.
This means always considering: the content of posted information (such as names, addresses and pictures), how viewers might interpret it, and what viewers might do with it.
This means being aware of what your online behavior says about you to colleagues, students and parents, and also means recognizing that there is no true online anonymity. Everything you share digitally has the potential to connect back to you.
When sharing your own information in the online world consider:
- How public do I want this information to be? Are there details (my address, cell number) I would like to be kept private?
- A year from now, will I still feel good about this information being public?
- Am I respectful and ethical in my statements? Is anything I say “actionable”?
- Have I acknowledged sources and contributors appropriately?
- Would I feel comfortable if this information appeared on the front page of a tabloid?
- Am I respecting the duty of fidelity that I have to the school district as their employee?
When introducing Internet-based tools and applications into your professional practice:
- Am I choosing “the right tool for the job?” (For instance, do I want a professional blog or Twitter handle? Do we need a class Facebook page? Am I aware of the age restrictions for students with certain digital tools?)
- Have I kept my professional web 2.0 accounts separate from my personal site?
- Am I aware of the conventions of the medium (e.g.. email and Twitter etiquette) so I can use them appropriately?
When working with students:
- Am I explicitly teaching ethical use: acknowledging sources, using respectful language, respecting the privacy of others, ensuring personal information is not shared? (Please consult the “Resources” document for links to established digital citizenship curricula.)
- Am I providing preventative guidance and a swift response to online bullying and harassment?
To learn more about cultivating your digital footprint and safe practice online, visit:
Microsoft offers some great tips for district staff when using Outlook, our district’s email provider: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/12-tips-for-better-e-mail-etiquette- HA001205410.aspx
Commonsense Media videoclip covers some importance principles about teaching email etiquette to students: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/strategies-teaching-email-etiquette
Social Media Etiquette
Here is some helpful advice for educators using twitter: http://heidicohen.com/twitter-etiquette/
Here is some helpful advice for educators using social media in general: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/etiquette-in-the-age-of-social-media/
General Online Etiquette
Here is some wiki and blogging etiquette advice for teaching students: http://msedwards.pbworks.com/w/page/21860714/Wiki%20Etiquette%20For%20Students
Digiteen offers a variety of activities for teaching digital etiquette: http://digiteen09-1.flatclassroomproject.org/Digital+Etiquette
When educating parents about their role in keeping students safe online:
Use standard references documents and sources: (Ministry of Education): http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/sco/resourcedocs/internet_safe/
Include this information on your school website, for example: See Royal Heights Elementary School: https://www.surreyschools.ca/schools/royalheights/About/PoliciesProcedures/CodeofConduct/Documents/Internet%20Safety.pdf
The district Safe Schools Department also has a document for sharing with parents or including in school newsletters: https://www.surreyschools.ca/departments/SAFE/Documents/InternetSafety-English.pdf
The district Safe Schools Department has another document that speaks specifically to the use of Facebook for elementary age students: https://www.surreyschools.ca/departments/SAFE/Documents/Facebook-Elem-Students-English.pdf
(Thanks to the Surrey School District for providing us with the core information used to prepare these guidelines)