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Social Networking - Research & Guidance


Facebook have published a guide for educators to help them promote the safe and responsible use of Facebook by the young people they work with. The guide can be downloaded here: Guidance is a social networking website that enables users to ask and answer questions. There have been several national stories about how the negative use of has resulted in tragic events with young people. Herts for Learning has created a guidance document and video to respond to the risks associated with using this site.


Instagram Guidance

Instagram is a social networking service based on the sharing of photographs or short videos, usually from mobile devices. It has become very popular with young people, who like to ‘follow’ each other, build up numbers of ‘followers’ and use the service for text chatting and messaging, as well as sharing pictures and videos.

Like most social networking services, Instagram is not intended for children under 13 and this is clearly stated in their Terms of Use.

By default, photographs and videos published by a user are public, and anyone can see them and follow the user. The user must actively choose to make their posts private in order to protect them. If selected, images and videos can also be added to a ‘photo map’ which shows where each picture was taken, therefore potentially giving away the location of the user. A user’s profile picture and ‘bio’ is public, even if he/she chooses to make their posts private.

Herts for Learning have created a short guidance sheet on Instagram, aimed at parents, carers and young people.


Young People and Social Networking Sites

A new report evaluating the potential educational benefits to individual users, as well as outlining some of the opportunities that educators and schools using social networking services might take advantage of, plus some of the barriers and risks to using social networking in education.