Today we will look at some strategies on how you can use Facebook in school. Obviously this post will not apply to all teachers but is relevant to teachers who are teaching students over the age of about 13.
Many teachers have concerns about using social media in the classroom, mainly because they are concerned that their professional relationship with the students may be compromised. If you would like to see how you can use Facebook in school without this being an issue you can see this previous post.
I love using both Twitter and Facebook as a teaching tool but for 2 very different reasons:
One of my greatest challenges as a teacher is finding a way to communicate effectively with my students and remind them of tasks due. Too often my students will forget most of what I have said within thirty minutes of leaving my classroom. I have found that when I use Facebook in school as a way of getting my message in front of the students they pay more attention.
As discussed in the last post 92% of students are already on Facebook. These students are visiting Facebook on average six times a day. Some schools use programs such as Edmodo, which has been branded as Facebook for educators but my question is; “Why would I put my information somewhere that my students aren’t already going to and then try and force them to go there?”
I have found that when I have put a message on the class Facebook fan page, the students take notice because it shows up in their timeline. In addition to this, not only does the post show up once when I post the status update, but shows up on their classmates timeline every time a student engages with that content by asking a question or leaving a comment thus increasing the chances of that post being seen.
Some teachers use Facebook in school to attempt to increase their student’s engagement with the content. To do this they might post a video and ask the students to watch the video and leave a comment as a homework task, or simply post links for the students to follow as part of their assignment etc.
To be honest, I have had a mixed response trying this. But regardless of the how much engagement or student comments that are posted, my main aim is to have the content and other communication pieces accessible in a place where most students already are.
If you would like to read a post that will show you step by step how to set up a Facebook page with the right security settings see the following post – how to use Facebook with your students.
So the main reason I use Facebook in school is not because it is cool, or everyone else is doing it. For me it is all about finding better ways to communicate with my students. In the next post I will look at the other reason I use Twitter and Facebook in school.