I am so excited to be joining this collaborative blog as my first blogging experience. I get to kick off the month of October with our new letter…F!
Facebook…when you hear that word, many of you probably roll your eyes. We push (or keep) Facebook out of the classroom because of the negative stigma associated with it, unfamiliarity of how we can use it, and fear of it “taking over.” Let’s reconsider, just for a few minutes.
As educators, we are urged not to “friend” our students or parents. However, Facebook does have great privacy settings which enables you to limit the interactions with certain people. The best way to manage this is to create a separate page just for your students and parents. You can always create a separate Facebook account, but it is easier to create a Page that you can manage from your existing Facebook account. Once people have liked your page, they will see the information that you post on their news feed. There is one downside of creating a Page- it will be available for anyone to search for. So if you would rather keep things on a smaller scale and private, it would be best to create a closed group for your class. When you create your group, you can set it up for invitation only, meaning you have to invite members to the group. If you are still questioning whether a Page or Group is the best for you, click here to read more about the differences between a Page and a Group.
Before you “go live” with your Classroom Page/Group, you will need to get some feedback from parents. It would be a good idea to have a simple consent form to send home giving the parents the opportunity to opt in or opt out of joining your Facebook community. This will help you become aware of specific needs and who will need to be given extra information in another form. (Obviously your hope would be for 100% participation!)
Facebook is also a fabulous place to get ideas and collaborate with other teachers! There are so many Professional Development opportunities. You can simply search for classroom pages or type your favorite educational blogger in the search bar-- I bet they have a page! This one should obviously be on the top of your list-- Virginia is for Teachers
Here are some other favorites:
Lastly, but most certainly not least-- let’s use Facebook templates to engage our students!
Here are 3 of my favorite templates:
1. Fakebook: Students can use this website to create a “Fakebook” page online. It can then be saved, shared, or printed.
2. Facebook template in Powerpoint students can edit- then save, share or print.
3. Google Drive template students can edit template using Google Draw.
There are also tons of templates ready to print and use in the classroom on TPT if your students do not have direct access to a computer.
I hope you have enjoyed these tidbits about using Facebook as Educators!