OPS Social Media Advice

Hopefully, Some Good Advice

In looking for good advice to give to Social Administrators and staff, I found an article on Edutopia that pointed to one elementary school’s Social Media guidelines. The advice offered was so good, much of it is included here. I also added a couple of things that are specific to Omaha Public Schools. The original article is located at Edutopia and the specific guidelines this section is based on is located on the Kimmel Farm Elementary School website. Feel free to share any tips and advice on the District Social Administrators conference so that we can all benefit.

Get Help

You can always get help from the District Social Administrators. Just call and we’d be happy to help out. At the present time, John Payne and Mick Weiand are the District Social Administrators, though that will change in the near future. You can also post questions in the District Social Administrators conference, so that we can help each other.

Don't Tell Secrets

It’s not okay to publish confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as student information, grades, or any other confidential information that would identify individuals. Protect and respect the privacy of our students, staff, parents, and school community.

Use Your Facebook Page, Not Your Timeline

In some states, laws have been written about when you can and when you can’t friend someone. Most school districts believe that staff should not friend students and vice versa. Friending parents is a little bit murkier. On top of all that, there’s the temptation to play a level of Candy Crush on your break.

To save yourself a lot of potential headaches, only use your Facebook page. The one exception that comes to mind is liking a person or organization as your Facebook page. Since liking can only be done from the timeline, that’s okay. For everything else, use the page to communicate with parents and other staff.

Be Honest

Don’t post anonymously or use fake names. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for Omaha Public Schools. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty - or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading.

Respect Copyright

It is important to show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others. If you have any questions about copyright, feel free to contact Courtney Pentland in Library Services. Always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.

Own Up to Mistakes

If you make mistake, own up to your mistake and correct it as soon as you can. If you edit something you wrote earlier, make it clear that you did.

Think Before You Post

Once again, it's all about judgment: using your blog or other social media outlets to trash or embarrass others is dangerous and ill-advised. Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. Contrary to what you’ve heard, once something is on the internet, it is all but permanent, so think about what you’re about to post. You should also be cautious about disclosing personal details.


Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they're not speaking officially. This is a good idea, but don't count on it to avoid trouble.

Technical Stuff

I’ve included a few procedures that may help you manage your role as a social administrator. I’ll keep a copy of this document updated in the District Social Administrators conference. Anything else that others create and tips and tricks will be added over time.

Looking For A Good Logo

If you find a logo on something that you have printed through P&P, look for the P&P order number. Contact Steve Preisman in P&P and ask for the logo from that Order Number, and he will be happy to send it to you. Don’t worry; I already discussed this with him so it won’t be a big surprise.

Create a Mail Rule

Creating a Mail Rule is something you can do inside your own Mailbox and inside the social administrator conferences in your school or department. These rules can help you make sense of all the email notifications that come your way. In this example, a rule is setup to send email from Facebook into a folder. You may also wish to do this for Twitter inside your Social Admin conference.

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