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The Social Media Toolbox

The Social Media Toolbox

Expanding your student media into social media this year? The Social Media Toolbox might have the right tools.

The toolbox, available at, features 16 lessons on social media plus related resources. The lessons can be used as a unit or individually, depending on the needs of students, advisers and school publication programs.

As a unit, the lessons are designed to help student journalists and their advisers navigate the transition into using social media as part of their publication programs. The unit starts with ethical decision-making to help guide students through the process. It continues with exploration of reasons for using social media, consideration of how social media tools are employed by journalists, and evaluation of the school community’s use of social media through a survey.

Other lessons focus on legal issues, social media policies and roles, cyberbullying, reporting using social media, and tutorials for implementing popular tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The unit concludes by challenging students to design an educational program on social media for the school community.

Marina Hendricks, a member of JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission, developed a “Social Media Toolbox” for use by student journalists and their advisers. Hendricks also received AEJMC recognition for her Toolbox during the second week in August at the organization’s conference in Chicago. Hendricks received the Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism award.

The Social Media Toolbox is not the only tool available for assistance in using social media for reporting.

Another is Social Media, the Classroom and the First Amendment developed by Melissa Wantz. The guide is designed for teachers to help students engage students using social media.

The Press Rights Commission also has a set of ethical guidelines here for using social media as a part of scholastic media. Information available at the site includes:

• JEA Adviser Code of Ethics
• Online ethics guidelines for social media
• Questions student staffs should discuss before entering social media environment
• Resources for online ethics


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