New South Wales, Australia, opens Facebook to teachers
And Twitter. And Flickr...
I'm often asked how one goes about changing culture to the point where draconian rules on filtering social networking sites might be lifted for use in the classroom or even in the office space. The ever-innovative New South Wales have just legislated to allow teachers to access social networking sites, through a mix of consultation and bottom-up involvement, and top-down legislation to make those discussions effective.
Involving community and professional groups as well as experts in learning and technology is a vital part of making guidelines that stand the test of time. This is the same approach we adopted with vigour six years ago in East Lothian when we kicked off the wiki-based consultation on our own social media guidelines.
The benefits are clear:
"A Department of Education spokeswoman said the change would help improve communication between schools and their communities.
"It would also give staff a ''greater understanding of technology being used by students''.
"A spokesman for the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, said the change would also help teachers combat cyber bullying.