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Teachers, What’s Your Social Media Policy?

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Two years ago I taught a course for first-year college students that was focused on social media. It was called, “The Language of Social Justice,” and we looked at how social justice was fought for and against on social media. I required all the students to sign up for some social media, including Twitter, which they could do anonymously. Social media is becoming an extremely dominant mode of communication, and I firmly believe that English teachers have a responsibility to teach their students how to engage in it productively and responsibly.

I decided it was time for me to create a specific social media policy, so students would know where I stand. I do not wish to “friend” students on Facebook at least until after they are no longer students in my school, nor do I wish to get photos of them enjoying their weekends on their Instagram feed–or read their comments on any photos of me on mine. But, I would be delighted to have my students follow my Twitter feed, as long as they understand I’m not posting as a teacher, and I’d be happy for my students to read my blog. I’m also perfectly willing to connect with students at any age on LinkedIn, as that is a professional social media outlet and it’s actually good for them to interact with adults there.

My Social Media Policy

My policy is still evolving, but here is the one I included on my undergraduate syllabi in Fall 2018.

Dr. Lindblom’s Social Media Policy: Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, a social media site specifically intended for professional communication. If you invite me to “Connect” with you on LinkedIn, I will happily do so. You are welcome to follow me on Twitter, but please understand that I tweet from my own perspective, and my Tweets do not represent Stony Brook University or any unit within it. I will NOT knowingly follow on Twitter or friend on Facebook students who are not graduates. (But try me once you’re an alumnus!) I also blog about teacher education and English education online; if you’re interested, search for “Edukention.”

What Do You Think?

Are you a teacher with a social media policy? Do you have one that you just don’t publish? Do you have any suggested changed for mine?

If you’d like to read another post I wrote about social media, please see it here.


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