Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Student Protection act and what it means from the technical side

To preface, I am no lawyer, I am merely making aware notes that our teachers should consider when using social networking tools/sites in the classroom to assist in making their classroom more global and transparent.

First and foremost: Those using Facebook pages: Make sure they are open to the public. I would also send a direct link to your building administrators to make sure they are aware of the page and they too might enjoy following what goes on in your class through this medium, as well as post links on your websites so that parents can see and follow along with the information you are sharing.

Next up: Edmodo users: The very nature of Edmodo is to make private online shared classroom spaces. If you are using this tool in your class, I would see if you could set the page to public, and make sure that the building administrators have all been connected to your Edmodo class room pages. I would also offer up access to your parents by simply posting a message on your website or in a weekly mailing offering up a connection code to the pages that you are using so that they can join and see all the conversation and work being posted to the pages.

Windows Live: At the root of windows live is email. If you are using windows live in the classroom I would make a public statement about how it is used and then offer to any parent, their students username and password so that they can monitor the online conversations and file sharing that their children are participating in while using Live to enhance their learning/sharing/file storage methods while using the cloud.

The key to this act, from the technical standpoint, is to ensure the tools you are using are transparent. No private conversations should go on between anyone in a school when it comes to class work. We want to share as much of what we do as often as we can and this act helps refine and think about the tools we are using. With purpose and with the intent to develop a more global classroom should always be part of the goal when using any online tool.

Again, just my first thoughts on the act, to ensure that people are thinking about the tools they are using wisely, and to help make their extended online classroom more available to the parents, students, and administrators.