My district administrators would like to know what other elementary schools are doing in regards to linking/embedding students' voicethreads, prezi, issue, other web 2.0 tech. Please let me know if you or any one in your district does this.
What's the educational goal? To share student work with classmates? To share with a larger audience?
One alternative to a class page is a public site without student full identity revealed. A site with TRUSTe certification of child privacy is the safest one, because an independent group is monitoring the site for privacy compliance, especially if children younger than age 13 are involved. (Way too many schools don't observe that law; IT directors try to, but get pushback from teachers who don't understand there is a federal law for any educational institution that accepts federal funding.)
One example: the Student Media Galleries of ePals are a place with 27 million unique viewers monthly (so your students have a huge audience) and the site also has TRUSTe certification, so you are in compliance with federal privacy laws as well. See http://www.epals.com/media/87/default.aspx
Other places that are public, with educational focus, and some have a measure of safety for elementary students, both to post and especially to view, include:
* http://www.schooltube.com/ To share student-made videos
* http://www.teachertube.com/ To share videos, docs, audio, photos, etc.
Remember there are also federal laws about privacy of student grades etc. so even that can be a problem in today's world. (Some parents sued because students exchanged papers to grade a test, and their child's low test score was not kept private but revealed to another student in the class. It's not the same world that I grew up in!)
See info from the US Dept. of Education on Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) passed in 1974: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
Your school district attorneys may need to give guidance on what is and isn't allowable under FERPA. Most universities have guidance for faculty in this relating to social media, but I don't see similar documents on school district websites.
Some school districts are going to social learning management systems (especially for children under age 13) to observe these federal rules also. Blackboard/Angel, ePals LearningSpace, eChalk, etc. are used and then the privacy concerns and FERPA rules are observed.
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