Social media platforms and applications enable people to directly interact with each other. They support people to publish and share information, ideas and views and discuss content, and are often popular with students. Staff in schools are therefore often interested in or will seek to use social media platforms and applications to support student learning.

As a first step, staff should identify a clear rationale for the use of social media and confirm that existing technologies in the school, including Department provided technologies (see note, below) and any other third-party technologies, are not able to meet/address the desired educational outcome(s).

This step is important as:

  • the introduction of any technology in a school comes with risk, including in areas like privacy, copyright, child safety and information security -- it is therefore important to minimise duplication in technologies (so, having more than one technology that does the same thing)
  • the use of a large number of different technologies in schools, particularly where they are not integrated with each other (so, for example, requiring different user names and passwords) can result in confusion and frustration in users

Examples of appropriate social media use

The following examples demonstrate social media platforms and applications being used appropriately, with a clear educational context:

  • use of an online forum or social networking site for students to post curriculum-related questions, which the teacher and/or other students answer (for example, curriculum support for students studying a VCE subject)
  • use of an online blog by a student to describe/showcase classwork as it develops, which the teacher, peers or students’ parents/carers can make appropriate comments on (for example, portfolio of a design process)
  • use of a online wiki by a teacher as a content repository (for example, collection of primary source material)
  • use of a video sharing website to help students explore/deepen understanding of concepts (for example, Eddie Woo and Wootube; Khan Academy)
  • use of an online photo sharing site to curate and annotate image collections to support understanding of curriculum content (for example, photographs of landforms or other geographical features)
  • use of an online blog or wiki to host student-created podcasts or vodcasts and invite audience feedback (for example, a series of episodes where student hosts investigate and discuss the response of significant people to discrimination)
  • use of an online micro-blogging platform, discussion board or chat forum to hold a slow chat, where questions posed/answers posted can be offered asynchronously (for example, questions prompting students to share effective self-regulation strategies)
  • use of online collaborative mapping tools to record/annotate local or global events, phenomena and places (for example, mapping/documenting global volcanic activity)
  • use of an online micro-blogging platform, discussion board or chat forum to pose an open-ended curriculum question (for example, Algorithmic thinking: The answer is 36. What is the question? Mathematics)
  • use of an online instant messaging app to organise and run a class/year level event (for example, an act for the annual school concert)

Further information/support

Note: templates and links to other support resources, including how to respond to online incidents and examples of protocols for student, staff and parent use of social media can be found on the Resources tab.

For more information or support please contact:

Guidance and further information on social media use in schools including resources to...

Reviewed 26 February 2021

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