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Articles: Social Media

Fast disappearing from schools are internet “lock and block” policies that keep students off social media and restrict them to carefully curated websites. Even with sophisticated filters and firewalls, today’s learners carry all the access in the world in their back pockets.

The future of fidget spinners remains uncertain for the 2017-18 school year. (Gettyimages.com: J2R).

Whirling fidget spinners invaded classrooms across the country this past spring, but with many schools banning them as a distraction, their future as a potential remedy for students with attention difficulties is in doubt.

In a classroom in New Hampshire, second-graders pull out iPads to film themselves discussing the characters of a book they are reading.

Chris Wolk is the principal at Avon Center School in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. He is a regional director for the Illinois Principal Association and a certified principal mentor with the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Principal preparation programs continue to place more demands on candidates, in some cases requiring a yearlong internship. 

Allowing students to explore news articles that spark their curiosity can provide a bigger literacy boost than having them read nonfiction texts about random topics far removed from a youngster’s interests. 

Jason R. Olsen is communications officer for the Salt Lake City School District.

While the news media environment has changed, our goal as communications professionals hasn’t—create a simple, accurate and relevant message for quick delivery to parents, employees, students and community.

Every morning, principals in the West Bridgewater School District in Massachusetts get on the PA system to lead students through a few minutes of mindful breathing exercises.

Journalism classes at Junction City High School in Kansas—100 miles west of Kansas City—use the short-lived social media app Snapchat to learn long-lived lessons of storytelling.

OPEN PRESS—Students who write news stories at Kirkwood High School have freedom. Writing without needing administrator approval on stories teaches the full scope of the First Amendment, the principal says.

Neither Principal Mike Havener nor any of his administrators preview stories the students at Kirkwood High School produce for their TV broadcast, or for The Kirkwood Call newspaper or its website.

Hattiesburg School District designs technology training to empower teachers to take charge of their own professional development by letting them decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn it and how. 

Los Angeles USD and the New York City Department of Education both received electronic bomb threats on December 15, 2015. LAUSD called off school. New York students remained in class. Which district made the right call?

Principal DeMarcos Holland created “Fantastic Fridays" to interact with K12 students on social media.

Principal DeMarcos Holland, of New Manchester High School in the Douglas County School System in Georgia, has replaced traditional class tardy bells with music, including compositions created by students and teachers. The friendlier sounds have lowered the average number of tardies from between 50 and 60 per day to less than 10.

Adopting tech, preventing segregation, harnessing power of social media will be education priorities in 2017.

Education faces no shortage of important challenges in the quest to improve our nation’s schools. Whether it’s the debate over testing, racial issues, learning standards or shrinking funding, 2017 promises to be a year of change—for better or worse.

Click to enlarge: Facebook is the most popular platform among teachers while school and district administrators prefer Twitter. (Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)

Deeper family engagement and PD are among the top priorities for educators, according to the second annual Educator Confidence Report from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fifty-eight percent of the more than 1,000 educators surveyed desire more parent and family engagement while 84 percent spend their own money on professional learning opportunities.

Digital Fly now monitors Facebook along with Twitter and Instagram.

Technology is a vital part of students’ lives: 92 percent of teens say they go online daily and 24 percent say they are logged in "almost constantly." One challenge for schools has been overcoming the perception that social media monitoring jeopardizes student privacy.

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