|Students have powered-down for school|
When I speak about schools such as these, I often get a lot of questions like this one I received recently from a Twitter follower.
"Great ideas for Facebook, but would we be taking a social risk? Facebook is taboo for many admins and districts are frowning on FB because of the potential risk for unprofessional behavior bit.ly/gCEp2n ."My reply to such inquiries is always the same. Tools have no intent. Facebook doesn’t cause a risk for unprofessional behavior, but it catches those who engage in such behaviors. What we’re really saying when we block and ban is that we don’t want to bother dealing with issues such as those who have chosen to publicly engaged in unprofessional behavior. It is much more convenient to turn heads the other way.
After I’ve convinced educators that Facebook is a powerful tool in education because it’s one that our kids are already using and it is our professional duty to use and help keep kids safe in the environments of their worlds, I’m often asked this question.
:Would you encourage using a Facebook page or profile to connect with students? Is there a difference?"
|Students bring their own devices to New Caanan High School |
and use an unfiltered internet
If you want to understand how you can maintain a professional presence on the site separate from your personal profile, here are some tips, directly from Facebook’s Safety for Educators page (note: You may also want to visit the "Teachers" page in the Facebook Safety Center.) First they suggest that if you are a teacher and have a personal profile, you can consider creating a group or a Page specifically for interacting with students, parents, or colleagues. Create Friend Lists to control what parts of your profile students are able to access. If you don’t get the difference between pages, and groups, and friend’s lists here is how it’s explained on Facebook’s Safety for Educators page.
Pages, Groups, and Friends Lists Overview
Pages are for broadcasting great information to people on Facebook. For example, you could create a Page called "Ms. Smith’s 9th Grade Science Class" where you post daily homework assignments. Anyone can become a fan of a Page on Facebook. People who choose to become a fan of a Page will see updates on their profile. To create a Page, click here. Pages are free, you can control them with your personal profile, and they keep your profile separate from your students.
Groups make it easy for members of a community to connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea. For example, you could create a group called "American Literature 101 Discussions" where you and your students can contribute to group discussions. Or you could create a group for all of the educators in your your department to collaborate on lesson plans and share ideas. To create a group, click here.
Friend Lists provide organized groupings of your friends on Facebook. For example, you can create a Friend List specifically for your students. Then you can control which parts of your profile are visible to this entire list. You can also filter your view of each list’s stream of activity separately on the home page, or send messages and invites to this group of people all at once. To learn more about creating and managing Friend Lists, click here.
Connecting with Other Facebook Using Educators
If you want to connect with other educators who are using Facebook for Learning, join the Facebook in Education page. This page is a resource for teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and others who work in education. You can refer to this page for privacy tips to help you maintain both a personal and a professional presence on Facebook. You'll also find answers to common questions including how to report abuse to Facebook and the best way to use Facebook as a communication tool in your school. To become a fan of this page, click here and choose the "Become a Fan" option at the top of the page.
Read Librarian Michelle Luhtala's response to this blog post at Y U Need 2 "Friend" ur Students!