Pretty much everybody is on Facebook these days. It only makes sense for teachers to use this platform in an educational setting.
It helps us to connect with parents in a way that we never have been able to before. It shows that we are open and approachable. It can be a pain for a parent to try and reach us at the school. They will often have to take a break from work to give us a call, and more often that not, we won’t be available when they do call.
Some parents simply can’t come to the school during regular hours to discuss any concerns they might have. There are other roadblocks as well that pretty much stifle the communication between home and school.
Quite often, information only flows one way. We can send home notes in the planners. We can send home newsletters and notices. But we can’t really foster much of a conversation with these methods.
Many of our students and parents are already using Facebook. They are comfortable using the platform to communicate with family and friends. And I think, they’d be more comfortable to use it to communicate with teachers than they would in any of the more traditional ways.
To that end, I have started using Facebook in an educational setting this year and it is working. There are discussions happening on there that are benefiting students. I am able to put out reminders about my program at school and everyone is getting the messages in a timely manner.
I like how I can model appropriate online behaviour as well. It gives us a chance to talk about Netiquette and practise using communication skills online. We can teach our students about digital citizenship, collaboration, and the power of social media.
The benefits of using Facebook professionally outweigh any of the fears many educators seem to have about it. I think it’s time we embrace this widely used communication tool to enhance our program at school. It’s almost a no brainer.
Next week, I will give you some tips about how to start using Facebook in your teaching capacity. There are a few things I’ve learned over the past two months of experimenting with this new tool, and I’m still learning.
If you have any tips, or stories you’d like to share about using social media in the classroom, please leave a comment below. Thanks!
Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive (over 150 great posts to peruse)