A lot of educators ask me about posting student pictures on social media, to be able to celebrate the great things that are going on in their classrooms and schools. Not only does it share the learning, but it also helps students to understand their presence online and what it tells people.
Usually the process is that through some vetting, a school or district will provide some type of form. There will be discussions with parents, and hopefully there is a process where parents sign that they are okay with what you are doing. Ongoing discussions with staff also may discuss what are some good things to post, and things that you might not want to. Yet, I have noticed that sometimes there is something missing.
Asking the kids for their permission.
Now I am not saying all teachers do this, but I think that if we want to model something to our students, we need to constantly ask them if it is okay if we post their picture online, even if we have their parents permission and even if the student signs off on something previously.
There are a few reasons that stick out to me on why you should ask students for their permission…
First of all, each day is different and there are days where maybe a student is not up for you sharing their picture to the world.
Secondly, we need to model that if we are going to post something online of someone, that we should ask permission. Even if a student is younger and may not understand the full breadth of how many people can actually see the picture, it is still a good practice to model.
Finally, tying into the last point, how comfortable would many teachers be of students just taking a picture of them with their phone and posting it online without permission?
I appreciate the educators that make this a common practice, no matter what forms are signed. If we do not ask the student for their permission, do all of the other forms and permissions matter as much?