We finally decided to give our sixth grader a smart phone. And while I think the good has outweighed the bad so far, I really wasn’t prepared for how complicated things would get — and how quickly it would happen. So I can see why implementing social media guidelines for schools is essential in this day and age.

And I should add that both of her parents know more about tech than most.

So we’d like to give the New York City Schools Student Social Media Guidelines [PDF] a round of applause. It’s great to see a big school district starting to incorporate clear (if fluid) social media recommendations into the curriculum, the way health and sexual education was so many years ago.

NYC Schools Social Media Guidelines | Cool Mom Tech

In my opinion, it is a much better approach to educate and guide students on appropriate use of the technologies, rather than put our heads in the sand and let the kids figure out rules for themselves. Plus, social technologies have many important classroom uses available to educators, parents and students.

The guidelines are  worth a look, whether you’re in NY or not. Reading them through, I see that even my own instincts weren’t correct when my daughter was facing a minor cyberbullying event via her new smartphone–better to ignore rather than respond.

So, a big thumbs up to the New York City Department of Education. The guidelines cover things like appropriate uses of social technologies, crafting your digital image in a way that aligns with your goals, being honest, privacy, cyberbullying, and involving your family in your social media profiles and decisions.

But my favorite suggestion? Pause before you post. This is advice we could all stand to use now and then.

Download the PDF to check out the New York City Schools Student Social Media Guidelines and follow updates with #SoMeGuidelinesNYC on Twitter