August 7, 2009

The current state of the Internet and related technologies has made possible personal communication with a wider audience than ever before. As these technologies evolve, we expect that even more opportunities will exist for social networking and worldwide communication through the next generation of blogs, chat rooms, texts, online posting forums, or other similar mediums.

These technologies provide significant new instructional opportunities and allow collaboration among students and staff that previously could only take place in the classroom. However, like many new technologies, the evolution of the Internet and other forms of instant communication is not without questions regarding proper use. Scariano, Himes and Petrarca has developed guidelines and recommendations to give school districts guidance regarding use of social networking technologies as part of the curriculum, and to provide guidance intended to minimize the possibility of disruption to the education program.

Our guidelines and recommendations are intended to enhance and build upon the district's policies and procedures regarding acceptable uses of computer technology and address the proper use of social networking technologies both as part of the curriculum and in non-school settings. These guidelines and recommendations can also be adapted to meet the unique needs of each school district and its curriculum. If you would like to implement social networking guidelines and recommendations at your school, please contact your attorney at Scariano, Himes and Petrarca. We are happy to review our sample guidelines and recommendations with you, and to customize our materials to meet the needs of your school district.