A school social media account can be the ideal space for school’s to share pupil, staff and school achievements, build a community with parents and prospective parents, and showcase daily school life and ethos. It’s also a great marketing tool for schools, especially now that social media is a primary tool for communication, socialising and community awareness for the majority of society.
At Natterhub, we positively encourage the posting of content online especially if it celebrates, spreads positivity or allows for learning to be distributed. Alongside this, the Natterhub lessons teach pupils to consider who their audience is online, and whether or not the content they post is appropriate, safe and/or acceptable.
Joshua Rosenberg, Assistant Professor of STEM Education at the University of Tennessee recently conducted research surrounding how schools used social media during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and came across some frightening figures. Out of 10 million photo posts made by school social media accounts between 2005-2020, 500,000 of these identified pupils by first and last name. This information paired with the school’s location is a clear violation of pupil privacy, and is certainly a safeguarding concern. Bullies and those trying to make unwanted contact with children can use this information to target young people, as well as data mining companies.
So how can schools make sure their social media accounts are painting the desired representation of their school, whilst keeping pupils and members of their community safe?
Well-managed social media channels are a great insight into your school and are an engaging way of celebrating what’s going on day-to-day as well as creating a sense of community. Ensuring the accounts and your pupils and community are safe is vital when it comes to setting up and running the channels. Staff all being on the same page and fully committed to online safety is your school’s new non-negotiable.
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