Looking at Edmodo and Google+ raises the question, “Should schools be teaching social networking etiquette?” We currently see misuse of Facebook by MS students (and some parents) with cyber-bullying and defamation. How would those negative behaviors, with appropriate social networking classroom education coming from within schools, change to become “safe, legal, ethical and responsible”?

Many schools, mine included, block Facebook because of the risks of misuse on campuses by unsupervised students. Yet, there are tremendous positive benefits of social educational collaboration in classrooms. Close supervision and teaching of common technology standards by teachers and parents seems to be the solution to successful student and child education regarding appropriate behaviors and use when learning in a social networking environment.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) created National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers and administrators to address “global learning in the digital age”. Just as we would not hand the keys to the family car to our children without first giving them practice and testing their knowledge of safety and rules of the road, educators have an obligation to do the same before handing over to students the technology education keys, especially when it comes to social networking.

National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS.S)

Standard #5: Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

Students:
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS.T)

Standard #4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.

Teachers:
a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
b. address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.
c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d. develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools.

National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS.A)

Standard #5: Digital Citizenship
Educational Administrators model and facilitate understanding of social, ethical and legal issues and responsibilities related to an evolving digital culture.

Educational Administrators
:
a. ensure equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources to meet the needs of all learners.
b. promote, model and establish policies for safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology.
c. promote and model responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d. model and facilitate the development of a shared cultural understanding and involvement in global issues through the use of contemporary communication and collaboration tools.

How to Use Google Plus in the Classroom

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About Donna

Changing educational paradigms motivate me to share new technology as well as the admirable work of others who integrate contemporary research on how people learn with supportive, free digital applications and resources. Do teachers ever have enough time or money? Perhaps my discoveries will expedite the journey of a busy educator seeking a 21st Century 'true north' of his or her own.

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