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Schools are grappling with issues where students are capturing video, photos, and audio via cell phones and ipods at school and then posting these captures of other students and/or teachers to social networking sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Google Video, and Myspace while at home. Many of us are striving to update our acceptable use policies as they relate to social networking sites. Please help us edit and modify a working acceptable use policy for social networking that can be shared with other K12 educators.!

Resource Posts that demonstrate the need for an updated Acceptable use:
Spies Like Us, Vicki Davis

Benefits of Social Networking:

Social Networking Online Tools and Services include Flickr, YouTube, Google Video, Podomatic, and others. It is very easy to create accounts for these services, upload content and then tag the content. The tagging makes the networking possibilities very powerful which may draw many viewers.

Many educators and administrators are aware of the great potential these social networking services may provide; however, they also recognize the potential dangers of such services and are struggling with the articulation of a sensible Acceptable Use Policy that will protect the rights and privacy of students and faculty.

Social Networking Acceptable Use Policy

DON'T search for illegal, crude, rude, crass and inappropriate things.

DO use the computers for research on school projects or to connect with other students in a positive manner.

DON'T harass other students through blogs. No one wins in an online harassment situation.

DON'T copyright infringe or plagarize or download anything illegally. Think about it.

IF you have to wonder if the site you want to use it appropriate, it probably isn't. But you do have teachers and administrators to view and help you make that judgement.

IF you should happen upon a site (perhaps you typed the link wrong) and the site has gross content, flag it and leave the site immediately. If you flag it, it will show that you do realize it was a bad site and it was not your intention to go there at all.

IF we can work together, restrictions placed on all the students can be lightened. The crass actions of the few should not (but sadly do) hinder those of us who know how to behave. By this age, we should all know right from wrong. Myspace shouldn't have to be blocked; it should just be common knowledge that visiting your personal blog during your educational time period is not right.
By following the guidelines set down in the school handbook, so much drama can be avoided. I think use guidelines are pretty much the same as this website's explanation of what the East Lothian Council's pupils use. Flickr.com's guidelines are also a good rule book to how to act in the school environment. Note that Flickr is not necessarily a school website, but that the same rules apply even to your personal use of the site.

Code of Ethics

A Student & Teachers


Code of Ethics

Seek Truth and Express It
Teachers and students should be honest, fair, and courageous in gathering, interpreting and expressing information for the benefit of others. They should:
  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.
  • Always identify sources. The consumers of your information product must be able to make their own judgment of its value.
  • Always question the sources’ motives.
  • Never distort or misrepresent the content of photos, videos, or other media without explanation of intent and permission from the information’s owner. Image enhancement for technical clarity is permissible.
  • Examine your own cultural values, represent them as your values as appropriate and not fact to avoid imposing those values on others.
  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid as long as they are noted as such.
  • Distinguish between opinion and fact when expressing ideas. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
Minimize Harm
Ethical teachers and students treat information sources, subjects, colleagues, and information consumers as human beings deserving of respect.
  • Gathering and expressing information should never cause harm or threaten to be harmful to any one person or group of people.
  • Recognize that private people in their private pursuits have a greater right to control information about themselves than do others.
  • Consider all possible outcomes to the information you express, guarding against potential harm to others.
  • Never use information from another person without proper citation and permission.
Be Accountable
Teachers and students are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and to each other.
  • Clarify and explain information and invite dialogue about your conduct as a communicator.
  • Encourage the information consumer to voice grievances about your information products.
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • Expose unethical information practices of others.
Respect Information and its Infrastructure
Information, in the Information Age, is property. Information is the fabric that defines much of what we do from day to day, and this rich and potent fabric is fragile.
  • Never undertake any action that has the potential to damage any part of this information infrastructure. These actions include, but are not limited to illegally hacking into a computer system, launching or distributing viruses or other damaging software, physically damaging or altering hardware or software, or publishing information that you know is untrue and potentially harmful.
  • Report to proper authorities any activities that could potentially result in harm to the information infrastructure.

Permission to Upload:

Ultimately, whose permission to upload should be sought? Only those whose face and voice appear? The teacher (if a class project)? The administration?


Literate society, etc....
Definition of acceptable use...
Right of privacy....
applicable law...


Uses in classroom....
Outside of classroom...

Prohibited Uses

Privacy violation...