Lorna Jackson Public School Blog

New frontiers for new learning

Guidelines for use

Here are some general guidelines for our work online:

School Community issues

I believe strongly in ensuring we build a team at our school that develops a triad of staff, students and community working collaboratively. To that end, in the fall our school council set norms for our meetings one of which asked meeting to focus on issues that applied to the whole community as opposed to discussions focussed on individual teachers, classrooms, students or parents. I would ask that the discussions here also be focussed on key issues that we can discuss as a school community. This is not a forum to comment to or about individual teachers, students or parents. Further, I would ask us to be mindful of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in our postings here. As principal of the school, I cannot approve any posts in violation of that Act or other YRDSB policies and procedures.

Our collective purpose

While blogs are wonderful places to chat informally for our school I would ask us to consider our ultimate goal: to improve the achievement, well being and success of each student at our school. I welcome our parents, community members and perhaps even members of the global community in the discussions towards that goal.

Modeling for children how to use social media

Finally, I would ask us to consider our posts in the context of modeling for our students how to conduct dialogue within social media in appropriate ways. Many of our students use social media each and every day. I hope they can join us here and contribute to the discussions. The comment box feature asks for your e-mail address which is not posted here, but used to confirm online identity. I would also ask that you indicate your name as e-mail addresses don’t necessarily match.

Twitter guidelines

The Lorna Jackson Public School Twitter account is managed by the principal of the school Greg Collins, on behalf of the school and community.

Currently, this account is a pilot project, initiated in November 2011, to test the use of Twitter with our board. As such, it will also be monitored by the board’s Communication department at times.

If you follow us, you can expect tweets related to the following:

  • Alerts about new content on our school blog
  • Invitations to provide feedback on specific issues on which we are consulting our school community
  • Information from our school or school board on what is being worked on at the present time

Our overall purpose is to share, inform, celebrate and learn.

Following Us

If you follow us we may follow you back; this however, does not imply endorsement of any kind. The account will be screened regularly by the principal to remove followers that appear to be spammers or who are in violation of our board’s Acceptable Use Policy (please see below).

Students should not use Twitter without parental permission and consent. As with any technology, we encourage parents to monitor the use  of any technology tool.

@Replies and Direct Messages

We welcome feedback and ideas from all followers, and endeavour to join the conversation when possible. However, we may not be able to reply individually to all messages received on Twitter.

All @replies and Direct Messages are read and any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are taken into consideration.

Any @replies or direct messages need to adhere to our board’s Acceptable Use policy (see below)

Again, students should not use Twitter without parental permission and consent. As with any technology, we encourage parents to monitor the use of any technology tool.

Acceptable Use

Twitter is an open, public social media tool which needs to be respected accordingly. Twitter, in particular, has tremendous potential as a social media tool, but also requires responsibility when it comes to its use. As this is an account linked to a public elementary school, whose primary readers will be school aged children and their parents, we remind all participants of the expectations around acceptable, safe and responsible use.

General safe use guidelines include:

– No names of students, staff or parents should appear on social networking sites

– No addresses should appear on social networking sites

– No phone numbers should appear on social networking sites

– No personal photographs should appear on social networking sites

We also ask that we adhere to the same policies we established for our school blog as follows:

School Community issues

We believe strongly in ensuring we build a team at our school that develops a triad of staff, students and community working collaboratively. To that end, in the fall our school council set norms for our meetings one of which asked meeting to focus on issues that applied to the whole community as opposed to discussions focused on individual teachers, classrooms, students or parents. I would ask that the discussions here also be focused on key issues that we can discuss as a school community. This is not a forum to comment to or about individual teachers, students or parents. Further, I would ask us the various acts outlined below in our postings here.

Twitter specific – Further, please be aware that as a publicly funded school, we are bound to comply with and act within the following: The Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, The Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Child and Family Services Act, The College of Teachers Act and YRDSB policies and procedures. Messages requiring us to respond either at the school or with local authorities would include, and not be restricted to, threats, harassment, hate or bias incidents, cyber related incidents involving bullying or inappropriate use. Reponse may also include police involvement, as necessary, in relation to any of the acts, regulations and policies outlined herein.

Thus, appropriate, safe, use is of paramount importance. Please refer to our board’s Acceptable Use Policy for further reference.

Tips

RSS feeds

The sheer volume of information on the Internet now is daunting. If you are unfamiliar with RSS feeds, they can help make your reading of the Web easier. They are a tool you use to keep up to date on your favorite websites. Rather than having to physically return to this blog (or any other website) to see if anything new has been posted, an RSS feed captures the recent activity for you. If you click on the orange RRS feed on the home page of this blog, the feed will appear. This feed can then be bookmarked in your web browser and viewed whenever you want an update. Alternatively, it can be archived in what is known as an RRS reader such as Google Reader. Rather than having to navigate the site, all the posts and comments are summarized in a concise format. It’s like having the Internet “come to you rather than you going to it”. Better yet, most e-mail applications allow you to “subscribe” to the feed allowing for the updates to be sent directly to your e-mail client. For example, if you use Outlook, you can set up a feed directly to it and read it when you have time.

(Note this is different than than the e-mail subscription which would send you updates directly to your e-mail account. The RRS feature allows it to be viewed in your e-mail client but in a separate RRS inbox if you will so you can keep your e-mail inbox exclusively for work related e-mails for example. Again different options work better for different people depending on the time you have to read blogs and the Net, how many e-mails you receive on a daily basis and how you actually want the information presented to you: full graphical internet based or simply raw text).

If you would like even more information Ollie Bray is a Scottish educator who has some information who explains RSS well including a 3 minute YouTube video on the feeds and feeders.

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