Supervision – Social Media Study Group

Note: This is one in a series of blog posts to be used by Auburn’s Social Media Design Team to conduct a study group before making recommendations for social media policy. If unfamiliar with this series, you might find reading this post helpful.

Supervision Study Questions

  • What are Auburn schools current doing related to supervision when students are using technology?
  • What are manual and technical approaches to supervision and setting limits?
  • What is considered best practice around supervision of technology use?


Although intended as a tool for Auburn’s Social Media Design Team, everyone is invited to use these posts as a resource. And if you are not a member of Auburn’s Social Media Design Team, you are welcome to post comments, too. But please limit/be thoughtful of the sharing of opinion and stay focused on the focus questions – we a trying to use these posts for fact-finding, identifying resources, identifying best practice, etc. Thanks!


6 thoughts on “Supervision – Social Media Study Group

  1. carlb

    Currently we have LanSchool used by several teachers in grades 7-12. Teachers are encouraged to monitor student use by arranging seating so screens are visible and teachers are also encourage to move freely around the classroom engaging with students.

    Much of the supervision falls to classroom management and the setting of norms for computer use. I think that the most effective methods of supervision include a strong educational component around digital citizenship along with collaborative norm setting by teachers with their students. Just say no just doesn’t work!

  2. Pat gautier

    I agree with Carl that both classroom management and digital citizenship instruction is key if we are going to reinstate the social networking. It should be noted that LAN school does not work effectively at ELHS and in the Library I have no management system for monitoring laptops. I hope we can engage in some productive dialog this afternoon around this complex issue.

  3. Peter Robinson (@PeterKERobinson)

    Technical means of supervision, such as LanSchool, Apple Remote Desktop, etc, have always been problematic for me. I have always argued that the most effective forms of supervision involve what I refer to as “sneakerware” (walking around the room, looking at what students are doing and engaging with them,) and, as Carl mentions, reconfiguring rooms so more student screens are visible from the teacher’s station. The latter option is particularly relevant in a study hall/learning lab situation where the teacher is not directly involved in instruction but has supervisory responsibility.

    I think we need to set an expectation that study time be used educationally, and hold students to that. A quick survey of computer activity on the network last week showed high percentages of game playing and YouTube viewing. It seems to me that these students could and should be steered towards using the time more profitably, even if it is only reading news sites, or other items of interest online, in the event that they really are caught up on all school work.


    As with bullying, it would be important to empower the bystanders to take action with the supervision and follow through. It would be ideal to have a student group that supervises and deals with students.

  5. Haley Laflamme

    I think that a lot of high school students have figured out how to get around LANschool.

    I’m not sure that I see teachers walking around looking at screens too often…

  6. Mike Muir

    I know that I’m a multitasker. I am often in meeting and paying attention, but also doing something a long side it (like checking email quickly – maybe even checking eBay!). I know that there are a lot of teachers like that. I worry, sometimes, that even though they understand that is what they need, that they don’t feel that students should be able to do it at all. There may be a philosophical component to supervision that we may need to address, too.

    One philosophical piece is those who see themselves as authoritarians “over” the students. In the worst case, it feels like being looked down on or “treated like a kid” (especially to high school students).

    One piece is that “I’m the adult” and “I’ve paid my dues…” and that adults should be able to do things that we don’t allow students to do.

    Another piece is, as Jim Hand says, having a “we’re all crew” approach rather than “I’m the driver youre the passenger” approach (or you’re the driver, I’m the passenger…)

    In some ways we did give high school students a lot of freedom and, as Haley says, they lost Facebook because of how they used it, but might not be aware of that…

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