Best Practice

Avoiding problems with social media

Legal advice
Schools cannot ignore social media for any longer, says Susan Hall ― but vigilance is the watchword.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that schools are at least mildly suspicious of social media. While the world is seduced by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others, the education world remains unmoved, or even vaguely hostile. Yet even if that last statement is something of an exaggeration, it is worth remembering that you cannot ignore social media forever.

Like it or not, it is here to stay and it is folly to suggest otherwise. Given that, it is desirable, if not entirely essential, that teachers confront the realities and work out the best way to deal with it. 

Notwithstanding the benefits of social media, it is easy to see why schools are slightly nervous about it. Using Facebook and Twitter, although not exclusively these portals, opens up a new world with potential for cyber-bullying, defamation and conflicts of interest, albeit in extreme cases. How, then, is it best to avoid these kind of pitfalls?

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