Educators and students who use online networking tools effectively and safely can turn them into valuable learning and communication tools. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat may occupy most of the social media real estate and can have value in the classroom—but there are lots of online collaboration resources designed specifically for learning environments.

I’ve pulled together social media guidelines and recommendations from some leading educational nonprofits to refresh your memory and maybe add to your technology toolbox. Some highlights from our research:

  • Incorporate specific lessons in online manners and safety into your curriculum.

  • Don’t connect with or follow students on your personal social media until after they graduate.

  • Use cell phone text tools to communicate about class projects or field trips.

  • Employ social sites geared toward specific subjects such as reading or science to augment textbook lessons.

For more tips and advice, check out these posts from the National Education Association, Common Sense Media, and American Board. Then call VARtek at 800-954-2524. Our team of Classroom Technology Coaches can work with your teachers to develop a strategic approach to using social networking in the classroom.