Twitter birdsAccording to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend, the NSW Department for Education is implementing changes which support teachers to use social media both professionally and privacy. From now on teachers in NSW schools can access Twitter, Facebook and other social media from the classroom. And the Department have created a NSW social media policy for teachers - which is critical to helping them to understand what's expected of them. It starts with the statement:

  The department supports its employees’ participation in social media online applications such as social networking sites, wikis, blogs, microblogs, video and audio sharing sites and message boards that allow people to easily publish, share and discuss content.  

When I read it, I liked seeing that intro "The department supports…", because that's a pretty positive affirmation in a social media policy for teachers  (much better than "You are allowed…"). You can find the NSW Social Media Policy for teachers here*.

So from now on, you can expect to have many more teachers discussing education, sharing links, and also looking for information through social networks.

If you're a supplier to education, what is your social media policy? If your customers are using Twitter, are you? Are you making it easier for teachers to find relevant information through social networks?

* It took me a while to find the social media policy for teachers, as it doesn't show up when you search their website. But happily it's listed alongside all of the other 184 current school policies and guidelines, alongside such timeless classics as the "Pirated DVDs Screening Guidelines", which uses quite a few words to say "Don't"!