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Social Media in K-12 Schools

Teacher Editorial  |  By Dawn Rothwell

Social Media Access in K-12 Schools

Photo Credit: William Iven
Photo Credit: William Iven

As a high school teacher and administrator, I have witnessed both the positive and negative effects of social media in the classroom for teenagers.  It is easy to implicate social media as a distractor for students in the classroom, as well you would not have to wander very far to bump into a teacher who has some story about how social media has been used for cyberbullying.  As a result of these concerns, educational policy makers have introduced a variety of Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) over the years to monitor and control students’ use and access to technology based on competing policy frames (Ahn, Bivona, & DiScala, 2011).  Should school policies be framed in safety (to monitor and block student access to new technologies) or should policies be framed in media literacy (to integrate and teach students how to utilize new technologies within the classroom)?  Our experiences as parents and educators during the rise of social media has fueled the debate regarding the merits of social networking in schools.  What is the suitability of social media use in K-12 schools?  To help address this question, I have turned to a recent review of research-based literature conducted by Greenhow and Askari (2017), to further help inform us on these current issues in education regarding the use of social network media (SNS).

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