Using Social Media to Enhance Classroom Communication

Social media has become a great communication tool for schools. Schools and districts now have a way to push information to parents where they are instead of parents having to come and find the information themselves.

However, using social media isn’t just a great communication tactic for schools; it can also be useful in the classroom. Teachers in our district and around the country are strengthening the school-to-home connection by using social media.

Teachers use Facebook groups to connect what is happening every day in their classroom to parents. Teachers post photos, videos, upcoming events and reminders. They also share with parents what the students are currently learning and how that learning can be supported at home. Some examples:

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In an effort to support teachers using social media in the classroom, our District developed guidelines. Below are highlights of the guidelines, and the complete list can be found here.

  • Teachers set up a professional account using their school district email.
  • They create a closed group, so individuals have to ask and be approved to join. The nice thing about groups is that they create a place where people with a common interest can come together to share ideas without being “friends.”
  • Communication must be directed at parents for grades K-8 and parents or students for grades 9-12. This is based on the Facebook Terms of Use and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
  • Teachers are required to have a second administrator on the Facebook page. For some schools this is a building administrator, for other buildings it is myself.
  • The District Rules of Engagement must be posted in every group.

We have been doing teacher Facebook groups in our district since we implemented social media four years ago. The feedback we have received from parents has been very positive. Parents love the opportunity to feel more connected to their child’s classroom and the opportunity to connect with other parents. See for yourself!

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4 Replies to “Using Social Media to Enhance Classroom Communication”

  1. I’ve noticed recently when setting up staff with professional Facebook accounts that Facebook will sometimes require verification via text message. (It may only be for staff who have unintentionally connected their work email address with a personal Facebook account, but I haven’t been able to verify that.)

    One way of getting through this is to use Pinger, which offers a phone number and a web interface that can send and receive texts, for free. http://www.pinger.com/tfw/

    I usually blur names and profile photo thumbnails when I include example messages in documentation, and we blur desk nametags when they’re legible in photos. Is that overly cautious? (I’m pretty sure I’m overly cautious about that sort of thing, just curious what others think.)

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