The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) hosted an informative professional development session about social media with an amazing lawyer, Nadya Tymochenko, and Superintendent Chris Samis. We learned about some of the legal issues regarding how schools and school boards use social media.
As educators, we need to consider some important points when using various social media platforms in our lessons. Social media is a new phenomenon that can have many benefits for education, but we need to continue to think about ensuring the anonymity of our students.
When do we need for informed consent from parents?
When you reflect upon this question, you can see many areas of concern that may be relevant. There are three main points to consider:
- We need to let parents know how their children will be engaged in social media. This could be by sending a letter home or including information in newsletters. You should include how and why you are using social media so parents are fully informed.
- Parents need to know that they can withdraw their consent at any time. Educators need to ensure there is an easy process in place for parents to withdraw consent. This should be included in all communication home about the project.
- Students need to understand what privacy means. Educators cannot take this piece for granted. What privacy means to us may not be the same as what privacy means to our students. This is also a great opportunity to discuss digital citizenship with our students.