If you have not yet heard about SnapChat, you will.  SnapChat is an app for iOS and Android devices that allows a user to send a photo or video to someone (one of their social media “friends”).  What makes SnapChat different is that the photo or video is set to disappear after 1-10 seconds of viewing, with no record of it.

The SnapChat site says…“The allure of fleeting messages reminds us about the beauty of friendship – we don’t need a reason to stay in touch.  Give it a try, share a moment, and enjoy the lightness of being!”

Sounds great, and could be for many people.  However, like many web-based resources, there are some possible implications, such as sexting, bullying, or other inappropriate use.  While RSU1 does use a content filter to attempt to block SnapChat, there are ways to access it.  Remember, too, that once students leave the school network their Internet access is being provided by the wireless network of homes and local businesses, which may not be filtering at all. Lost in the discussion of school laptops and school iPads is the fact that many of our students have SmartPhones, which often access Internet content through cellular data plans.

What can you do as a teacher, education technician, librarian, administrator, coach, or parent?  Be involved.  Ask questions.  Learn about the technology and listen when kids talk to one another about how they are using it, then engage those students in conversation about technology use and personal safety.  The technology itself is not good or bad, but how we use it is important.

There are no technology solutions to these behavioral issues.

You can read more about SnapChat at the sites below, or just visit Google and search for SnapChat.