Heppell and Chapman (2011)

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Heppell, S. and Chapman, C. (2011) Cloudlearn report: phase 1. Effective practice for schools moving to end locking and blocking in the classroom. http://rubble.heppell.net/cloudlearn/media/Cloudlearn_Report.pdf

This report stems from the idea that there is a schism between schools that embrace social media and those that ban it. Social media was seen as engaging and banning was seen as potentially harmful. This divide was made more unfortunate by limited resources in schools.

This study seeks to identify guidelines arrived at by teachers and schools through engaging with social media and portable devices. The report identifies several reasons why schools lock and block social media:

1. Confusion between students own devices where access is set by parents and school devices that have access and permissions set by the school itself.

2. Fear of technology not working or of the risk of cyberbullying

3. Broadband can be inadequate to support more devices in schools

4. Blocking can be controlled by the schools' ISP

5. Security and safety of students coming into contact with adults other than teachers

6. Leadership is sometimes lacking or not engaged with teachers' use of media

7. External pressure from the media or parents

8. Authenticity of learning not guaranteed in this fast-moving area

Four case studies are presented, describing the school use of YouTube, blogging, mobile phones and video conferencing.

The report presents a “pick and use” portfolio of guidelines for schools and teachers to implement. These include a template for policies that should be linked to other school policies. It is also recommended that parents are kept informed and offers a template letter.

The report also recommends setting up a working group of students and teachers to look at how new media are being used in practice.