Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1.1.2 Laws of Communication

FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, must be observed by all educators in regard to communication, distribution of grades, student privacy, and instructional practices. Compliance with FERPA guidelines in online communication is crucial. John Orlando in FERPA and Social Media (2011) suggests some useful policy guidelines that can help avoid FERPA violations:
  • When students are assigned to post information to public social media platforms outside of the school LMS, they should be informed that their material may be viewed by others.
  • Students should not be required to release personal information on a public site.
  • Instructor comments or grades on student material should not be made public.
  • While not clearly required by law, students under the age of 18 should get their parent’s consent to post public work.

Regarding copyright laws and online learning, the method that will more likely ensure that copyright is not being violated is to avoid copying any content from the Internet. Most works on the Internet are copyrighted, even if there is no explicit indication. This doesn't mean that copyright requires that all work, images, words, and graphics must be original. Fair use laws allow us to use portions of copyrighted materials as long as we respect the legal boundaries of such fair use.


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