Guidelines for Using Social Media

Respect Copyright Laws

It is important that you show respect towards the laws governing copyright and fair use. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work and make sure you cite your sources as well. It is a good idea to link to someone else's work rather than reproduce it and call it your own.

Respect your audience and your coworkers

Do not be afraid to be yourself, but at the time, do not disrespect anyone either. This includes obvious things (racial slurs, personal insults, offensive comments, etc.) but also consideration of privacy and controversial topics (religion and politics). Make sure you use your best judgement and make it very clear to your audience that whatever views and opinions that your express are yours and yours only.

Be the first to respond to your own mistakes

If you make a mistake, be straightforward about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to edit a prior post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something inappropriate (a negative comment about them or something that is copyrighted under them), deal with it as soon as possible so that it decreases the chance of legal action.

Be Honest

There is no need to blog under a pseudonym or anonymously for instructional purposes. Use your real name, be clear about your identity and never hesitate to identify yourself with whoever you work for. Do not make the mistake of saying anything untrue or misleading. Nothing gives you more notice on social networking sites such as honesty or dishonesty. At the same time, be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. Consider the content of whatever you are publishing seriously because it will be around for a long time and be careful of disclosing personal details about yourself.

Don't forget your core responsibilities

Never forget that you are an educator. Make sure that participation in social media at school is directly related to the educational goals of the students. Be sure that your usage of social media does not interfere with your career as an educator or your commitments to your students and staff.


Davis, M. (2012, May 4). N.Y.C. Outlines Social Media Guidelines for Educators. Education Week. Retrieved July 10, 2014, from