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13.2 Hints and tips 

There are lots of good examples of providing resources and training for students. Do not assume that just because you have a student social media policy, students will actually read it. Guidance materials need to be engaging and immediately relevant. Use the resources highlighted in this Toolkit to get some good ideas as to how your own materials can be enhanced. Encourage students to explore the following topics:


  • My digital footprint – ask students to conduct their own searches to gain an idea of what the digital footprint actually looks like and to reflect on the impression it gives and what they might want to change. 

  • Posting about other people – encourage students to think about the implications of posting comments about, and images of, other people. The BBC editorial guidelines for the use of images from social media sites have a very good summary of the ethical implications . 

  • Using other people's content – use social media as an example to introduce concepts relating to academic integrity e.g. what can and cannot be reused and how external material should be cited. 

  • Showcasing your assets – encourage students to create digital content to support their studies and showcase their talents to enhance employment prospects. Get them to identify for themselves what kind of transferable skills they might be learning from their use of social media, for example:

      - online design and layout;
      - creativity;
      - writing skills;
      - multimedia skills;
      - reflection and critical thinking;
      - collaboration;
      - practising safe and responsible use of IT;
      - communication and debating skills in communities where they are open to diverse views.

  • Overcoming distraction – how to manage time and use social media to support deep learning when it offers so many distractions.

  • Post in haste, repent at leisure – emphasise the longevity of digital media and the value of taking time to reflect rather than posting when you are feeling particularly emotional e.g. angry or shocked about a recent event.

  • Who's following you? – encourage students to think about building a network of contacts and to consider questions of digital identity and what online profiles actually tell you about other people. 

  • Staying safe – ensure students have ready access to esafety guides and understand their importance; do not bury critical information in long policies that may not be read. Emphasise the importance of looking out for others and reporting signs that a fellow student may be suffering distress.


Additional resources

Some useful resources for use with learners include:

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