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District Uses Software to Monitor Student and Teacher's Social Media Posts

District Uses Software to Monitor Student and Teacher's Social Media Posts

In a move that is creating big debate, Orange County Public Schools in Florida is using a software program to monitor its students' and teachers' social media posts in an effort to promote safety.

"Orange County Public Schools has started monitoring students' and teachers' social media posts with a new software program called 'Snaptrends.' It allows the school district to search thousands of posts on sites like Twitter and Instagram to hunt for keywords that might indicate trouble. School officials said the goal is to flag potential dangers, including cyberbullying, suicide and crime," said Wesh.com.

The move is intended to promote a safe school environment, especially during a time where cyberbullying is becoming a more prevalent issue that affects many youths. However, the decision is also the subject of much controversy from some who feel as if it's a violation of privacy.

According to the article, parents are not necessarily most concerned over the school looking through posts, but are concerned with what the school might do with the information found.

For the school's administration, the move is a no-brainer in ensuring safety for all.

"'If they are sitting in a classroom and they are tweeting because they are mad at their teacher or girlfriend for whatever reason, and there are some threatening words there, we need to be able to know if it is credible,' said Joie Cadle of Orange County School Board," according to the article.

The School Board is also seeking to protect students who are threatening suicide through social media outlets to take preventative measures.

The district will not be monitoring posts protected under privacy settings, but instead would only focus on public posts.

The software it is using costs a reported fee of $14,000 for one year, is already in effect, and is run through local law enforcement.

Read the full article here, comment with your thoughts and take our survey below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/29/2015

Should schools be allowed to monitor students' & teachers' social media?

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