Read PURE's 2010 Office for Civil Rights complaint against CPS's high-stakes testing and retention policy here. Read about the accountability problems PURE uncovered in Chicago's charter and turnaround schools: Our report.
Nearly 200 Free Applications and hundreds of resources to help you get the most out of them!Tools for interactive collaboration, gamification, OER, mobile learning, & so much more!YOURS FREE just for signing up for blog posts! Educators and Parents are Faced With More Social Media Based Issues With Their Young Students Every Year.
Recently I attended an orientation session for my daughter, in preparation for her entering 6th grade next year. I did not realize how much of an issue this has become for teachers and for administration.
There is a well-founded concern among parents and in our schools about social media based cyberbullying leading to suicides among our preteen and teen children. I spent a few hours this weekend searching for tips and techniques to help educators reduce the likelihood of social media driven issues with their students.
Develop a culture of awareness and support: First and foremost, it is vital that schools discuss these challenges openly.
Make sure to include social media in your Code of Conduct Policy: This is pretty straightforward. Parental education: Educating parents is a key component of a proactive effort to control social media driven problems with preteens and young adolescents. Parents should know their kids’ user names and passwords (and monitor accounts): This is pretty straightforward.
Provide a way for students to report issues: Students need to know who they can turn to when they become aware of, or are victims of, an issue that arises for them on social media.
Encourage parents to talk about social media use with their kids: Part of each school’s approach should be reminding parents about the importance of talking with their children about how they use social media. Define consequences: Students need to know that if they violate the social media code of conduct, they are subject to defined remedial actions and loss of privileges.
Consider school monitoring: This is a big step, and it is somewhat controversial, but it is becoming increasingly common. Hopefully these ideas will help to protect students while allowing them to enjoy the fun side of social media use. It is up to all of us as educators and parents to tackle these issues head on and take proactive measures. Related PostsIt’s 2014 – Can You (Systematically) Text Your Students?Can Social Media Play A Role in Improving Retention in Higher Education? About Kelly WalshKelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. How many teachers have never played on that playground and therefore don’t truly understand the concept of the playground?How do kids learn playground rules?

While I agree with all 10 of your steps, those steps could be applied to any character-education situation. Parents and teachers who are not participating WITH their kids are missing on great learning themselves. For disabled students learning how to cope of with challenges of everyday life, as well as trying to master skills that will help them be more independent after graduation, technology has proven to be a valuable tool. As David Smiley of the Miami Herald points out, the use of assistive technology in special needs classrooms isn’t new. This has broad implications in South Florida, where according to the state there are 66,000 students with disabilities, although it’s difficult to say just how much is spent on assistive technology, or how many the equipment actually reaches. Still, new connectivity breakthroughs and devices like eye trackers and even iPads are improving equipment and becoming more affordable. Special needs students have also benefited from schools’ conversion from traditional textbooks to electronic texts. Recognizing the advantages of e-textbooks over traditional books, governments are adopting various methods to speed their adoption. The policy doesn't work, harms students, increases the drop out rate, and costs over $100 million per year. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago. During the session, the teachers did a great job of raising awareness of the growing frequency of problems they are dealing with arising from how these young students are using social media.
Combining what I learned with suggestions from the great staff at Kinry Road Elementary School, and my own personal perspective as a parent, I developed this list of approaches to help parents and educators limit incidents and issues by tackling the problem head on.
Dialogues about proper use, cyberbullying, sexting, and the many other realities of social media use are vital. While this can certainly be a bit challenging to adhere to in reality, at the very least it is a powerful lever in managing your children’s access. Educators need to make a point of getting parents involved in the conversation, and the sooner the better. There should be a clear direct way for them to do this (“inform your teacher, and they will inform the Principal”). This doesn’t have to be a purely ‘negative’ conversation – it is an opportunity to discuss the fun and creative ways that students use these tools, learn more about their friends, and learn about these technology tools (many kids are a lot more up on social media than parents – I learn stuff from my kids all the time!).
This is really a growing problem and it is likely to continue to get worse as social media continue to weave their way into our lives, and technology devices continue to proliferate. What are YOU doing to help ensure that social media remains fun and allows for constructive and creative collaboration and learning?
From educational apps to laser-guided power saws, digital gadgets deployed recently in many schools in Florida’s Miami-Dade County are helping to reinvent what education for special needs students looks like. However, prior to the last few years, its use was limited to things like wheel chairs and hearing aides.

Neither the federal nor state governments compile such information, according to spokespersons.
It has recently made its way into popular cell phones like the Samsung Galaxy 4 to make web browsing easier.
In Utah, where digital texts are quickly gaining supporters among students, faculty and administrators, one of the more popular steps has been to ease the expense of conversion by asking that any texts used in state schools be made available under the open source license – which means the content is available for free to anyone. They are put in the difficult position of being forced to play detective to try and determine how much of an issue it is, what took place, and what, if anything, to do about it. Encourage students to talk about their concerns, as well as the fun uses of these technology tools.
I am sorry to admit that I did not realize that Instagram had this age limit (I was aware of it for Facebook, but a lot good that does, since most kids this young don’t like Facebook anyway – it’s what their parents use and to them it isn’t cool).
And don’t just do this once a school year and consider it done, look for other opportunities to bring it up and raise awareness (just don’t go overboard).
It may also be worth considering an anonymous route, for those who may be scared to share their concern or problem (of course, this can bring its own problems since trouble makers can report false issues). This can be a great way for students to help each other work through issues, including social media based challenges. He frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S.
But recently, solutions that have been used successfully for the general student populations are being used for disabled students to overcome barriers that arise from physical disabilities and mental illnesses. Goldman said accurate numbers couldn’t be provided for Miami-Dade due to myriad funding sources and different ways of identifying technology. But for students who have very limited use of their arms and hands, the applications are much broader – and more life-changing.
Now that my daughter is immersed in Instagram use and we think it’s not entirely fair to disallow it at this stage, it is vital that we take certain measures (more on those below), and the age limit makes the discussion, and the enforcement of rules, easier. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. The vendor solution used by Miami-Dade is Comlink Enable Eyes, which uses students’ pupil movements for everything the rest of us use computer mice or our fingers for. Do it with your kids or without them, that is your decision, but just make sure to do it from time to time (it’s a good idea to set a schedule). When they complain about an invasion of their privacy, remind them that they will have a right to a higher degree privacy when they are adults, but in the meanwhile, it’s your responsibility as a parent to be involved in their lives in this way (and help protect them whether they like it or not).

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