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How might we use Facebook/social media to connect to our school community?

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Started by Enabling e-Learning 14 Jun 2011 8:26am () Replies (19)

Tara T-J recently shared this tweet that caught my eye:


She writes in her recent blog post that:

"I have been subtlety campaigning for a Facebook page at my school.  
The main reasons being: 
  • to engage our community 
  • to reduce our paper use 
  • to celebrate children, sports teams, teachers, and general school successes
  • to gain an insight into how many of our families have regular access (whether it be through home, work, education, library etc) to computers and/or mobile device
I don't know of many schools doing this (I am sure there are some though).  I know of Willowbank School in Auckland, Albany Senior High School, Coastal Taranaki School, and ACTS community school in Tonga (Go Miss Bramston!)

I have several unapproved friend requests on my own Facebook account (parents, ex students, current students) but have not been able to honour them.  We need to protect ourselves as educators and be very wary of how far we cast the net when it comes to our private lives.

However, facebook is a powerful tool.  It is a tool that is being used by our families.  The newsletters crumpled at the bottom of our kids bags are not always getting through.  So if our families are logging onto Facebook on a regular basis, why shouldn't we be there?" [Read more...]

"How? and Help!" Are you on the same journey as Tara?



  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 23 Sep 2014 3:32pm ()

    Hi Tessa,

    Every Friday @11am, (NZTime) 6 students and I paarticipate in a twitter chat #whatisschool.  It was osur second session and it was excellent!  Be great for other teachers/students to participate in this, @mrkempnz  is the moderator, and a kiwi as well.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 23 Sep 2014 9:29am ()

    Thought I might 'revive' this hidden thread, with a handy post I read recently, WHAT ONLINE EDUCATORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING - a concise piece on who, what and why you'd consider using different social media platforms with your students. 

    Anyone heard of or used QUORA?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 14 Sep 2011 10:32am ()

    Anyone interested in an oppportunity to unpack social media (Facebook, Twitter, social networking) in schools - is invited to connect with DK (Social media manager for CORE Education) and other interest principals and school leaders at Southwell School in Hamilton 2pm, 23rd September.

    For more information, go to ICT PD Online notices.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2011 10:08am ()

    Here's an interesting piece on how we might promote digital citizenship as we use social media: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-digital-media-citizenship

    I like the analogy with basketball:

    "...Like basketball, students must enter the world of social media and digital media with a good defense. They must understand the repercussions of irresponsibly using social and digital media and what affects it may have on their future. Give students time to use the device, but make sure they understand that the device is an outlet to many new avenues.


  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 12 Jul 2011 9:43am ()

    That's a great summary of how we might go about managing FB school pages sustainably, Mary. Thanks for sharing the presentation, too. I'm sure others will benefit from this adviceSmile

  • Mary Rivers (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2011 2:36pm ()

    Hi Karen. That is an issue that we have discussed in our school and Cluster in terms of all of our online presences (including classroom blogs/wikis). I attended a presentation run by Susie Vesper around this last year and it was a really great opportunity to think with more clarity around such issues as ownership and sustainability. I presented some of her core ideas back to my school, based on her presentation, and you can see a copy of this here: http://mantar.wikispaces.com/Blog+and+Wiki+Pedagogy  Our cluster as a whole bought this issue (based around this presentation) to their staffrooms so that it generated discussion and change within their individual schools. At Terrace End we have created a 'community organisation' facebook page that is not linked to any individual. We have been very careful to ensure the rights and privacy of our teachers are protected - particularly those who use Facebook for personal use - we believe there should be no cross over between their private use of Facebook and what we do as a school community. The email used for our school Facebook page is our administration one so that no one person has all ecompassing 'power' over the site. There are three of us who are able to monitor, approve and add to our Facebook page which ensures long term sustainability and progression in this area. We still have further development in this area but we were determined that the 'what ifs' will not prevent us from taking the next steps in reaching and engaging with our community. We keep our ear to the ground and watch what other schools are doing in this area and, when appropriate, use this to guide decisions and actions we take.

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2011 10:35am ()

    Hi Rachel,

    How do you manage the way the Facebook Page is linked to an account? Is it attached to a personal account /email or a school one? What would happen if you, or another school admin left? Just wondering how we future-proof all this great work?Undecided



  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2011 10:33am ()

    Tara, Rachel, Mary and Gina - You're all stars!Cool

    Thank you for taking the time to share your resources and experiences thus far. What is emerging here are some great tips and advice from the community. I'll aim to synthesise them shortly.

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2011 10:31am ()

    Great to hear how you are using social media to extend the way you keep in contact with your community, Mary.

    You might be interested in a discusion thread, in a dfferent community (the MLE Reference group) on using Group Text Messaging.

    Keep in touch with how you get onSmile

  • Mary Rivers (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2011 8:14pm ()

    Our school, Terrace End, has also begun a Facebook page this year. We are a low decile school in Palmerston North and many of our families do not have computers or any form of internet connectivity. However, we have completed one term of Computers in Homes which was very successful and we are finding that some parents from this are responding to our wikis and facebook page. I believe it is important to use any and every medium possible to reach our communities and this is just another tool to do so. Our next step is to find out how we can reach our families via text (bulk messaging) as many of our whanau do not have a home line and only use mobile phones. Finding a time and cost effective method is our challenge.

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