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Using Facebook To Engage Parents

Published on 6 January 2013 by in Blog Posts

Every e-safety talk I have listened to recently has included some form of warning against Facebook.  On one occasion, I was even advised that for the sake of my career, I should not use Facebook at all.  Obviously the people that told me this don’t know how to use Facebook or the stringent privacy settings that it offers.  The next sentence in this blog post may make some people gasp, it may make others shocked, it may make others think that I’m mad and that I have a desire to be struck off:

I use Facebook to engage the parents of the children in my class.

Facebook and Year 3 children do not mix.  Teachers and parents communicating on Facebook should not happen.  I agree with these statements, however I still use Facebook to engage parents.

My previous blog post mentioned how I use Twitter with my class to share their learning.  Yet, most of the parents of children in my class do not have a Twitter account.  I wanted to involve them in what was happening, so I set up a Facebook Page linked to the class Twitter account.  The beauty of this is that parents can ‘Like’ the class Facebook page and receive our tweets on their Facebook newsfeed, which they are more likely to check than a Twitter feed.  A few parents have mentioned to me that they love unexpectedly seeing their child’s tweets appear on their Facebook newsfeed when they log on.

‘But children under 13 are not allowed to use Facebook!’

My answer to this is that the children in my class never, ever see the Facebook page.  In fact, unless their parents have told them about it, they might not even know it exists.

Engaging parents in day-to-day learning is not always easy.  Setting up a Facebook page linked to a Twitter account is very easily done and it can result in quick and continuous engagement.  To see what my class page looks like, click the button below:

 
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5 Comments  comments 

5 Responses

  1. After discussing things with you on twitter last year, I set up a facebook page for my school and it’s working really well. I have it linked to the school blog so those parents who ‘like’ our page get a link whenever a new page is published. We just make sure that non of the staff at school comment on our facebook page using their own account and everything works fine!

    • Simon

      Hi Andrew. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad that the Facebook page has worked out well. My class Twitter account is also linked to our blog, so that in turn makes sure that parents see blog posts through Facebook. I think your point about staff not commenting is important, unless they want to be tracked down easily. I never comment, like or share anything from our school page, as it would provide an easy link to my personal account (which has very strong privacy settings anyway!).

      • Although you can have ‘admin’ rights to manage the page through your own facebook acount, I have created a separate school account just to make sure! (even though I don’t really use my personal facebook account very much)

  2. I think this is such a great idea, and it’s so nice for parents to get involved with their child’s learning. Although one must always be wary with social media, it proves to be such a powerful learning tool if you know how to use it correctly. Thank you for sharing this :)

  3. Jenny Hindley

    Hello I am a teacher and ict coordinator and looking at setting up a twitter and Facebook account for school. How can I limit the posts?

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