Social Media Policy for My Courses

So, I’ve tinkered with my Social Media Policy a little more in recent months. Anyone out there have any suggestions on what I should do with it to make it better?

Social Media Policy

As you can see, you are perfectly welcome to add me to your Twitter, facebook, tumblr, and Skype, as a courtesy to make myself easier to contact. You ought to be aware, however, that this comes with certain caveats.

  1. Replying: Turn-around time for electronic contact is usually about 48 hours, though it may be more. Whether that contact be an email, direct tweet, or what have you, I reserve the right to take my time to get back to you. This is partially so that I can protect my privacy and partially so that I will be able to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
  2. Manners: Etiquette online is always necessary. I am not your friend. I am your friendly professor. Please ensure that all communications, whether with me or with your fellow students (through online discussion boards, etc), maintain a professional level of decorum. Success or failure to do so will reflect in your participation grade.
  3. Following Me: If you follow me on twitter or what have you, I will follow you back, so as to ensure that you are able to send direct messages.
  4. Professionalism: The fact is that your social media account is already a professional account. 90% of hiring managers will go through your social media footprint before bringing you in for an interview. What any of us do or say online is not private or anonymous. I am just as subject to this as you are. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for personal announcements anymore or to put up pictures of yourself at a party, but it does mean that you should be judicious about the things that you post. Remember, you are always subject to the Student Code of Conduct, even online. If I discover instances of behavior online that breaks the Student Code of Conduct, I am obliged under university policy to report it. From previous experience, I would strongly suggest that you avoid such content as the following:
    1. Posting racist or sexist content (or any content that violates the Student Code of Conduct);
    2. “Oversharing” your personal life (ie. I don’t need to hear about your sex life);
    3. Posting links to free essay sites or other sites devoted to aiding students commit academic misconduct.

Remember, regarding professionalism… both you and I are in the same boat. As you are being policed by me, so I am being policed by you. I promise you that I will behave on social media with both professionalism and tact; I expect nothing less of you.

Please remember that any online material in contravention of the Student Code of Conduct will land you in front of the appropriate authorities. Any online material that suggests Academic Misconduct may be used against you in an investigation of misconduct.

That said, I’ve found using twitter and other social media to be a remarkably useful tool for pedagogy.  Basically, so long as you treat the online world with the deference that you would treat the real world, it is a wonderful place. If you don’t, it descends into YouTube comment feeds with startling speed.  Treating each other with deference doesn’t mean not having fun, it just means, to quote Bill and Ted, “be[ing] excellent to each other.” 

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