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January 12, 2018 06:07 PM

Sioux Falls Schools Policy On Using Social Media In The Classroom

Technology now plays a big role in classrooms...from kids using iPads to teachers taking photos and videos throughout the day. Parents sign a release, but videos and photos occasionally pop-up on some teachers' personal social media accounts.

Anytime a story is done at a school, media outlets have to get permission to show the kids and same with the teachers.

In the Sioux Falls School District, as long as parents sign the release for their kids to be photographed and recorded, teachers have the option to take photos and post them for parents to see. 

"It's a great communication tool but we also have to distinguish very much so, between personal sites and professional sites. Our teachers go through that same training as well on the policy information that they have to have a separation between those two sites," said Sioux Falls School District Assistant Superintendent Jamie Nold. 

Like many schools, John Harris Elementary has its own Facebook page to keep families updated. Kindergarten teacher Robin Mediger, also takes pictures of students in her class to show parents what they're learning.

"Putting it on Shutterfly is what I've been using. It's privacy protected so passwords for parents to get into the website," said Mediger. 

Parents can sign a release saying it's okay for teachers to take video and pictures of their kids to send back to them. But what about apps like Snapchat or Instagram stories? There could be repercussions for teachers posting videos and photos of their students on their personal social media accounts. 

"We have processes in place that if it's continually happening that we do directly address those situations to make sure to keep our student safe and their information safe as well," said Nold. 

Mediger says she sticks to Shutterfly and some forms of social media shouldn't be in the classroom. 

"I think there's a time and place for Snapchat and Instagram. As a teacher, I don't know if that's the place for it," said Mediger. 

Administrators say teachers should only be using photos and videos of their students for educational purposes. 

If you want to learn more about the policies and procedures, you can look at them on the Sioux Falls School District webpage.

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