Last week, I attended the free @EDUCAUSE #EDUlive Developing Social Media Guidance in higher education with respect to #Privacy and #Security concerns. The presenters, from the University of Pennsylvania, shared ideas for how to promote safe usage of social media and detailed how to draft guidance for addressing issues in teaching, research, administrative, and other functions.
If you missed the #EDUlive event, you can check out the webinar recording and archives posted on the EDUCAUSE website, Developing Social Media Guidance, and you can also read through the Storify of #EDUlive tweets I collected.
During the webinar, I shared the Social Media: Sharing Strategies, Policies & Privacy Concerns in Higher Education open & shared Google Doc that was 1st created for a @BreakDrink Campus Tech Connection (CTCX) Show in September 2010. This document has been circulated around and curated for a while by myself and high ed professionals and faculty. Since there were a number of social media guidelines/policy examples shared during the webcast, I added them to this doc. For others interested in developing guidelines, I think there are a few solid examples I like in here, and I know that @EricStoller shared some of his favourite #SM guidelines from the list on InsideHigherEd recently as well.
Before diving into creating rules, guidelines or policies for social media, it is important to consider how this emerging technology is being used on your campus. In Chapter 6 of Social Media for Educators, Tanya Joosten (2012) shares her thoughts around institutional considerations for social media policy and practice [which we chatted with Tanya about on #CTCX Episode No. 61 as well]. There are often concerns about the use of social media at educational institutions, since these social and connected resources impact student behavior, online interactions, privacy concerns, and communication practices. When developing a social media policy, Joosten (2012) offers a few helpful suggestions for educators:
- review current technology use at your institution
- do not link policies to specific tools
- revise current student conduct and institutional policies
- use policy to address behaviors and activities, rather than focus on the technology
- learn about FERPA (or FIPPA in Canada) issues and privacy of student information at your campus
- develop best practices on campus for use by students, faculty, and support units
When thinking about the language of policy vs. guidelines, I am partial to establishing guidelines. There are probably already policies that address the actions and outcomes of student, staff, and/or faculty behavior on your campus. I think that it is important to review your home institutional policies and/or guidelines to best understand what is already being “regulated” on campus. It is also helpful to chat with your institutional office who deals with policy development, legal concerns, and/or questions you might have around privacy legislation.
Have you searched the terms “social media+policy” or “social media+guidelines” on your institutional website? Go on. See what shows up. If you find something, then start connecting and collaborating with that unit. If there is nothing to be found, then gather your peers and start the conversation.
Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.