This study aims to explore the existence and extent of social media visions,
policies and guidelines in high schools in Flanders (Belgium, Europe) and how
these policies are embedded in the schools. The research findings are based on
qualitative data collected in 47 high schools. Next to an in-depth document
analysis of all available school regulations, semi-structured interviews were carried
out with school staff appointed to social media affairs. Results show a wide
variety of guidelines amongst schools. In addition, schools often experience
struggles in determining their position within the social media debate. Defining
the school’s role in when and how to intervene against the use of and problems
with social media appears to be difficult. In conclusion, this study provides input
for the design of more coherent school policy decisions facilitative to social
media’ use and consequently, contributing to the wellbeing of both students and
teachers in high schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-305
Number of pages25
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Muls, J., Thomas, V., De Backer, F., Zhu, C., & Lombaerts, K. (2020). Identifying the nature of social media policies in high schools. Education and Information Technologies, 25(1), 281–305. DOI: 10.1007/s10639-019-09971-7


  • Social Media
  • Policy
  • School level
  • High schools


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