Social Media Guidelines
Since what we share has an impact, we ask you to maintain a respectful approach to sharing relevant content and comments for the LWHS community.
- 1. Purpose
- 2. General Guidelines
- 3. Copyright and Fair Use
- 4. Profiles and Identity
- 5. Social Bookmarking
- 6. Faculty and Staff Guidelines
- 7. Student Guidelines
- 8. Parent/Guardian Guidelines
- 9. Updates and Changes
Lick-Wilmerding High School understands the importance of teachers, students, and parents extending the collaborative learning environment of the school by utilizing the continuously evolving technology connected to the Internet “social media”—such services as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wikipedia, blogging, and many other online tools through which people connect and share information. With this in mind, LWHS has developed the following guidelines to provide directions for faculty, staff, students and the school community when participating in online social media activities.
We encourage innovative use of technology that supports our mission and educational goals. However, to the extent that faculty, staff, parents, and members of the school community represent LWHS to each other and to the wider community, participation in all aspects of social media should be done responsibly. Moreover, issues concerning the proper respect for the privacy of our students, confidentiality of sensitive information, and respect for copyrights and trademarks are all very important to understand before participating in an online social environment.
The intention of the LWHS social media guidelines is to support employees and students as they participate in the various and constantly evolving world of social media and strive to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability. It is critical that we all understand that anything posted online by faculty/staff, students and their parents are a reflection on the entire LWHS community. The school's mission and obligation is to strive for an inclusive environment that allows our students to be compassionate and confidant. By accessing, creating, or contributing to various platforms such as, but not limited to; Facebook, Twitter, blogs, discussions, wikis, podcasts or other social media for classroom or school use, you agree to abide by these following guidelines. We also have existing structures in-house to do many of the same services provided by these public social media services that are not public by default and provide the same tools and technology for the students and community. If you have any doubts or concerns about how these guidelines apply to you or your situation, or how they might apply to some new form of social media in the future, please err on the side of caution and direct your questions and concerns to the Communications Department before you make use of such media.
Please consult our employee manual and/or parent and student handbook. Be aware that all existing policies and behavior guidelines and understandings extend to school-related activities in the online environment as well as on school premises.
Use good judgment
Think about the type of image that you want to convey on behalf of the school when you are posting to social networks and social media sites. Remember that what you post will be viewed and archived permanently online once you hit the “publish” button. On sites where you publicize your professional affiliation, make sure that your profile adheres to established criteria.
Think about what you have to offer the community—whether it is thoughtful, relevant blog posts, newsy tweets, or homework help—and focus on providing that consistently.
Look for opportunities on these social sites to offer recommendations or services to engage patrons and provide value to your community. Don’t be an Internet “troll” by posting or passing along mass email forwards and urban legends (funny stories, videos, non-school photos and other “SPAM”).
- Respect copyright and fair use guidelines.
- Hyperlinking to outside sources is recommended. Be sure not to plagiarize, and give credit where it is due. If you are re-posting photos, videos, poems, music, text, artwork, or other copyrightable material, take the extra step of identifying the creator of the materials to the extent reasonably possible.
- When hyperlinking to other sites and media, be sure that the content to which you are hyperlinking is appropriate and consistent with these guidelines.
- Be aware that photographs taken by professional photographers cannot be scanned and used on the Internet without the photographer’s permission—even if they are photos of you and for which you paid. Most photographers will charge a little extra for “digital rights” to photos.
- Remember your association and responsibility to LWHS in online social environments. If you identify yourself as a school employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself with colleagues, parents, and students in terms of the image, purpose, and mission of the school.
- Remember how you represent yourself online should be comparable to how you represent yourself in person.
- No confidential identifying personal information, such as full names, addresses or phone numbers should appear on blogs or wikis or other social media.
- Be cautious how you set up your profile, bio, avatar, etc. The same guidelines apply to this information as well as the substantive content you post.
- When uploading digital pictures or avatars that represent yourself, make sure you select an appropriate image. Also remember not to utilize protected images.
- Any tagging or identification of LWHS students in posted photos should not include the students full name or personal information.
- Be aware that others can view the sites that you bookmark.
- Be aware of words used to tag or describe the bookmark.
- Be aware of URL shortening services and verify the landing site they point to before submitting a link as a bookmark.
- Attempt to link directly to a page or resource if possible as you do not control what appears on landing pages in the future.
- Be aware that sites and locations you direct others to may also have content that might not relate or be appropriate for educational use.
REGARDING BLOGS, COMMUNICATIONS, WIKIS, PODCASTS, DIGITAL IMAGES & VIDEO
LWHS employees are personally responsible for the content they publish online. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your privacy and that of the school, our students and their families. Once materials have been published online, they may be out of your control.
- Your online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration that you use face-to-face and should be carried out consistent with the standards applied on school premises and in furtherance of the mission of the school.
- When posting to a blog, discussion forum, Twitter, or Facebook account, be sure you make it clear that the information is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of LWHS. Remember that blogs, wikis, discussion groups, and podcasts are an extension of your classroom. What is inappropriate in your classroom should be deemed inappropriate online.
- The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in the online world. By virtue of identifying yourself online as affiliated with LWHS, you are now connected to colleagues, students, parents, and the school community. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with your work at the school and the school’s mission.
- Don’t participate in spreading false or unsubstantiated rumors or false information.
- Strive to speak the truth—and when you don’t know, sometimes saying nothing is the best choice.
- When contributing online do not post confidential student information.
- Photographs, videos, and other digital content directly identifying LWHS students or their families should not be posted online. We can post it for internal viewing inside the site if that is appropriate.
- Use of student time for social media should have an articulated and defined instructional purpose consistent with the school’s mission.
- Use of your time during work on various social media sites should not be excessive and interfere with your work performance.
- LWHS employees must include disclaimers within their personal blogs and other media in which they either identify themselves or are likely to be identified as affiliated with the school that the views are their own and do not reflect on the views of the school. For example, "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Lick-Wilmerding High School positions, strategies, or opinions."
- This standard disclaimer does not by itself exempt school employees from a special or personal responsibility when posting online.
- Where online media are open to content and participation (such as comments) from students and parents, teachers are encouraged to carefully review and moderate such comments or disable their use. It is also often the case that “spambots” will try to post advertisements randomly on blogs in the comments area. It is best practice to limit public access to blogs, disable or mandate moderation of comments before they can be made publically visible.
Due to the wealth of new social media tools available, student products and documents have the potential to reach audiences far beyond the classroom. This translates into a greater level of responsibility and accountability for everyone. Below are guidelines students at LWHS should adhere to when using web tools in the classroom or in any way related to classroom or school activities. Also understand that as a LWHS student you represent the school even when you are not posting to social media during class time, and you should follow these guidelines anytime you post material that could identify you or your relationship to the school.
- Be aware of what you post online. Social media venues are very public. What you contribute leaves a digital footprint for all to see. Do not post anything you wouldn't want friends, enemies, parents, teachers, or a future employer to see.
- Follow the school's code of conduct when writing online. It is acceptable to disagree with someone else's opinions, however, do it in a respectful way. Make sure that criticism is constructive and not hurtful. What is inappropriate in the classroom is inappropriate online.
- Be safe online. Never give out personal information, including, but not limited to, last names, phone numbers, addresses, exact birthdates, and pictures. Do not share your password with anyone besides your teachers and parents.
- Linking to other websites to support your thoughts and ideas is recommended. However, be sure to read the entire article prior to linking to ensure that all information is appropriate for a school setting.
- Following, linking, or “friending” official social media accounts of the school are acceptable and encouraged.
- Following, linking, or “friending” personal accounts of faculty/staff is not acceptable. We do not allow current students to have “friend” relationships with faculty/staff members.
- Do your own work! Do not use other people's intellectual property without their permission. Be aware that it is a violation of copyright law to copy and paste other's thoughts. It is good practice to hyperlink to your sources.
- Be aware that pictures, videos, songs, and audio clips may also be protected under copyright laws. Verify you have permission to use the images, videos, songs or other clips.
- How you represent yourself online is an extension of yourself. Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else's identity. Pretending, in any way, to be another student, faculty/staff member or anyone else is strictly prohibited.
- Blog and wiki posts should be well written. Follow writing conventions including proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. If you edit someone else's work, be sure it is in the spirit of improving the writing.
- If you run across inappropriate material that makes you feel uncomfortable, or is not respectful, tell a member of the LWHS faculty/staff right away.
- Students who do not abide by these terms and conditions may lose their opportunity to take part in the project and/or access to future use of online tools.
Classroom blogs and other social media are powerful tools that open up communication between students, parents, and teachers. This kind of communication and collaboration can have a huge impact on learning. LWHS encourages parents to participate in such projects when appropriate and requests that parents act responsibly and respectfully at all times, understanding that their conduct not only reflects on the school community but will be a model for our students as well.
Parents should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Parents will not attempt to destroy or harm any information online.
- Parents will not use classroom social media sites for any illegal activity, including violation of data privacy laws.
- Parents are highly encouraged to read and/or participate in social media projects.
- Parents should not distribute any information that might be deemed personal about other students participating in a social media project.
- Parents should not upload or include any information that does not also meet the student guidelines above.
- Parents should model appropriate behavior for their children online. Any disagreement or need for clarification about LWHS policies, faculty/staff, or other families should not be handled in public forums like social media.