I was asked to write a policy to address the use of social network sites, in particular MySpace, by our elementary school students (even from outside of the school). This policy should address cyberbullying, expressing racial and other offensive comments, etc.

I would very much appreciate any help towards a site where I could read up on what other schools' policies are or maybe you can share the policy that is in place at your school.

Thank you very much in advance.
Silvia

I work at a private religious elementary school.

Tags: policy, social_networking

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I work in a Independant all boy Catholic High School. I would be very reluctant to write a policy that would allow my students to use facebook or myspace for school activities. On the other hand, my own children have accounts on both sites and I don't have any problem with them using the sites for personal/social reasons. Does your school have and existing Acceptable Use Policy? Does it address cyber bullying etc.?
I also work in a parochial school (K-8) and would like to see others' AUP's regarding social networking. We have a blurb in ours that basically states that if they use social networks in their personal lives, they must not mention where they attend school, both for "school image" reasons and, more importantly, for safety issues. But, our AUP doesn't dive into use of social networks as part of a sanctioned activity. My Space, Facebook, and the like are all blocked right now.

Acknowledging that many of our students, like yours, use social networking sites, we are beginning to integrate more internet safety curriculum for our kids.

Professionally, I think the use of social networking sites, like this Classroom 2.0 Ning, is of immense value... for me. A very large group of like-minded people are sharing ideas (like now) and the content and spirit here would certainly meet the standards of any school. BUT, while we may all embrace this kind of learning in our own professional lives, I wonder at what point a student is developmentally ready to take on the onslaught of connections and conversations that are associated with such open space. I'm not really sure but I do think a scaffolded approach would be the best way to introduce many of these web 2.0 skills. There has been some discussion about setting up a private Ning here and www.imbee.com might be another option.

Personally, I'm using Moodle to introduce this to my kids.

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