Internet safety rules

As discussed in Topic 1 the use of the Internet in everyday life is becoming increasingly prevalent thus it was arguably only a matter of time before social media became a part of education (Lauby, 2012).

The infographic I have created below using Canva neatly encapsulates these rather pervasive statistics.

app statistics onASIAN MARKET.jpg

#UOSM2008 is a prime example of how social media offers innovative learning both online and in the classroom (Henderson, Auld and Johnson, 2014) and in recent years the increasing use of social media has allowed teachers to deliver the somewhat ‘dull’ national curriculum in more exciting ways that engage those born after the digital immersion (The General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2001; Lawson, 2010). However, while many schools and companies are using ‘eLearning’ and social media to enhance their students and employee’s performance, such as; the Development Zone and Twitter, much like the concerns around separate personal and professional online identities discussed in Topic 2 and 3 there are a number of ethical issues raised by educational use of social media.

From a personal perspective I can testify to the many benefits afforded to education through the use of social media. However, I am also familiarised the many drawback it presents.

The Storyboard I have created below using Storyboard That illustrates just some of these issues. I have also Tweeted my storyboard with #ELHChallenge in an attempt to raise more awareness of these issues.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 21.15.22.png

For myself – an inspiring young teacher. The most pressing ethical issue raised by the use of social media is the boundaries between the personal and professional relationships formed by students and teachers on social networking platforms such as befriending your students or teachers on Facebook (Laliberte, 2017). According to a survey by the NASWUT union one in five teachers have been subjected to abuse by their students on social media (NASUWT, 2016; Adams, 2014).

Furthermore, the case of Elizabeth Scarlett highlights the potential consequences that the misuse use of social media can have on your career. However, in mild cases I would argue that the use of social media does not warrant such extreme punishment. This is illustrated in the case of Katie Nash who was fired following alleged ‘banter’ with one of her pupils on Twitter.

I have created a poll as I do not think it was fair to fire Katie in these circumstances however maybe I’m too liberal and I would love to see your views.

I certainly know Mike Stuchbery does not share the same view as me (BBC, 20141).

In order to combat this rather pervasive issue ‘a code of conduct or legislation is needed’ (Association for Learning Technology, 2014; BBC, 20142). Having done PowToon and Prezi to death I have decided to create a Haiku Deck presentation highlighting some of the existing guidelines.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 21.02.42.png

While there are a number of published guidelines readily disposable to students and teachers we cannot expect everyone to follow them due to the many different ethics and morals instilled within individuals. A prime example of this is the Katie Nash case in which it was alleged she did not feel guilty for her tweet.

Word count: 400


Adams, R. (2014) ‘One in five teachers abused online by parents and pupils, survey says’, The Guardian, 21 April. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Association for Learning Technology. (2014) Social media in education: ethical concerns. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

BBC. (20141) Banter ban Norfolk teacher Mike Stuchbery leaves Lynn Grove High School. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

BBC. (20142) Teachers need ‘clearer’ social networking rules, union say. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Henderson, M., Auld, G. and Johnson, N.F. (2014) Ethics of Teaching with Social Media. Paper presented at the Australian Computers in Education Confrence 2014, Adelaids, SA.

Laliberte, R. (2017) Is Social Media Causing Innappropriate Teacher-Student Relationships? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Lauby, S. (2012) Ethics and Social Media: Where Should You Draw The Line? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Lawson, (2010) Ethics and Technology Use in Education. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

NASUWT. (2016) Social media abuse endemic in schools. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Oxford University Press. (2017) e-learning. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

The General Teaching Council for Scotland. (2001) Professional Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).


5 thoughts on “Internet safety rules

  1. Hi Harriet!

    Thank you for such a well written post! I have been keeping up with your posts and it is so refreshing to see how you always manage to find different ways to explore your ideas i.e through polls and haikudecks.

    As well as reading the ethical drawbacks you mention in your post, I am interested to hear your personal perspective on what benefits you see from the use of social media in education.

    Furthermore, as much as I appreciate how there should be boundaries between students and teachers on social media- how would you approach a scenario where a student may only feel comfortable talking to you about a serious issue online because they may feel embarrassed face to face?

    You also briefly mention that online harassment can be an issue between students when using social media in education, what ways do you think this can be prevented?

    (150 words)


    1. Hi Carolina,

      Thank you for your lovely comments. For me one of the main benefits of using social media in education is enhanced creativity in both teachers and students. Without #UOSM2008 we would probably never have been given the opportunity to interact with one another and although peer reviewed work has been positively documented (Pearce, Mulder and Baik, 2009) in my opinion the use of social media in education marks a move away from an out date and overly homogenized model of learning environment (Slyke, 2008) fostering new and more engaging and equally as success methods of learning (Russell, 2017).

      In response to your proposed question, I feel the use of emails would be an appropriate means of non-face to face communication. What do you think?

      Finally, my first thought in combating online harassment would be government intervention and upon further reading around the idea I came across the ‘Preventing bullying’ guidelines. The guidance was published in 2013 and outlines “how schools can prevent and respond to cyberbullying aimed at head teachers and staff” (Department for Education, 2013).

      I really look forward to hearing your views on these areas too.

      Thank you again,



      Department for Education (2013) Preventing bullying. Available at: (Accessed: 19 April 2017).

      Pearce, J., Mulder, R. and Baik, C. (2009) Involving Students in Peer Review. Available at: (Accessed: 19 April 2017).

      Russell, J. (2017) Social Media in Higher Education: Strategies, Benefits, and Challenges. Available at: (Accessed: 19 April 2017).

      Slyke, C.V. (2008) Information Communication Technologies: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. United States: Ideal Group Publishing.


      1. Hi Harriet,

        Thank you for your response. I would agree that #UOSM2008 has offered us a flexible and modernised way of learning. Also, interacting with our peers and professors through our blogs and social media like twitter, has been a creative and unique way of learning from one another.

        I too think that emails is a great alternative as it is a quick and reliable method for teachers to talk to their students and vice versa in an appropriate manner. It also draws the line for students and teachers communicating via social media.



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