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ERIC Number: ED536527
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 79
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Social Networking in Schools: Benefits and Risks; Review of the Research; Policy Considerations; and Current Practices. Information Capsule. Volume 1109
Blazer, Christie
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
The role that social media should play in education is being hotly debated in school districts across the country. The adoption of social networking for educational purposes lags behind the public's general usage because educators fear that students will be exposed to inappropriate online content, unwanted adult interactions, and bullying from peers. Advocates of social networking in the classroom, on the other hand, contend that when schools restrict students' access to these sites, they deprive them of the opportunity to use new communication tools to research, create, and learn. This Information Capsule reviews the benefits and risks associated with education-based social networking, summarizes the research conducted to determine the impact of social media on student learning, and provides recommendations for school districts to follow when they are establishing social networking policies. Examples of the ways in which social networking activities are currently being used in schools are also provided. Finally, this report includes a summary of Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Network and Internet Responsible Use Policies, along with information on the District's proposed Bring Your Own Device initiative, Internet Content Filter, and Bullying and Harassment Policy. Although most school districts around the country still prohibit social networking in the classroom, some educators and policymakers are reconsidering the ban on social media. Social networking sites may expose students to potential risks, most notably cyberbullying, but early studies suggest that their use in the classroom can promote academic learning and increase student engagement. Before allowing social networking in the classroom, it is imperative that school districts formulate strong policies that address harmful online interactions and provide educators and students with guidance and oversight in the use of social media. Many non-commercial education-based social networking sites are emerging in response to mounting concerns over student safety and the security risks associated with commercial social networking sites. These non-commercial sites provide a compromise solution for school districts attempting to strike a balance between unrestricted access to social media and its total exclusion from classrooms. (Contains 1 table.)
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 1450 NE Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. Tel: 305-995-1000; Fax: 305-995-7521; Web site: http://www.dadeschools.net
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Research Services
Identifiers - Location: Florida