Our school system here in Nashville is no more stringent about restricting in-school access to social media than are the vast majority of public school systems throughout the country. I understand the reasons that social media were blocked in public schools when they were first developing. I also realize that the decision is largely a matter of policy in concert with that of the State of Tennessee.
Now, comma, it is time to bring policy into the 21st century. MNPS has already begun the process, with its own social media feeds, maintaining a Facebook presence and a Twitter feed; but if history is any indication it will be a good long while before students, teachers, administrators, parents, staff, and other community members find themselves able to access and nurture whatever online communities they belong to, within the workplace they share.
Let's accelerate that process. Right now, take a minute to call, email, or write the Metropolitan Nashville School Board to advocate for access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media within the walls of the school buildings for the MNPS community. Charge them with the responsibility they have as a Board to facilitate this important change at the State level. Be nice: These people navigate rough waters these days, all in the name of doing the right thing by our students. They need to know that we want this; and if enough voices are heard, change will be implemented.
Snailmail: 2601 Bransford Ave. Nashville, TN 37204
Want some further motivation to do so? Read this: http://www.edutopia.org/science-leadership-academy-social-networking. After you read, ask yourself this question: "Why cannot our own teachers and administrators in Nashville, Tennessee use the tools at hand to innovate in the right directions the way that Chris Lehmann and his supercharged faculty at Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy have?"
Chris Lehmann flanked by two of his social media savvy students
A couple more links with more information for the effort: