Facebook for your classroom?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by HappyLearning, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. HappyLearning

    HappyLearning Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2010

    I'm struggling quite a bit with communication with my parents. I teach Head Start 4 year olds on an Indian Reservation. Many of my parents are young, and all but two (out of 23) have email accounts. What do you think about making a Facebook page for my classroom? I would have status updates such as "Remember, tomorrow is a half day" "Sign up for the field trip soon!" "We are learning about plants today" or whatever. I could post photos from the classroom. And when parents logged into their Facebook accounts, we would be right there on their home page with information about their kids' class. I know many classrooms have webpages, but I don't know how often my parents would check in on a webpage or blog. But if it was right there on their FB, maybe they'd see it? Of course, it would be a private page and of course I'd still continune to send home papers and not rely on FB as the only means of communication. I havent pitched the idea to anyone else yet. What are your thoughts?

    By the way, I am a long time lurker... finally got brave enough to post! So hello!!
     
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  3. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2010

    I think it's a great idea. I've been considering doing the same thing for the past couple of weeks.

    Our classroom has a BLOG, but it takes a lot of time to keep the BLOG updated. I think a FACEBOOK page would be much easier to maintain.
     
  4. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Jan 2, 2010

    I also love this idea. When I get my own classroom I'd like to do the same. I think it would be much easier to update than any other kind of class website and is more likely to get more traffic. The only thing I wonder is when this class moves up, will you delete these parents as friends? I'm sure they wouldn't want to keep getting updates, etc. Or, you could just leave it up to them to delete the class facebook as a friend if they wanted to.
     
  5. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Jan 2, 2010

    I think that this idea has some good merits, and it is something that I have thought about as well. However, here are some things I think you should think about:

    1) If you do it, I would create an entirely different profile for yourself. You don't want your personal profile to be connected to your classroom's facebook page in any way. I'm not saying that there is anything questionable on your facebook page, but one of your friends could post something on your page that is questionable, and all of your parents could see it.

    2) I would talk to a supervisor about this before I did it. I would make sure that it was okay with this person before I did it.

    3) I would also make it clear to parents that they do not need to write on the "wall" of the page to let you know about children being absent, etc. This way, parents know they need to communicate with you in another way other than just primarily with facebook.


    Just some thoughts for you to consider.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 2, 2010

    KLS-great point about writing on the wall.

    I think this is a very creative, out of the box way to communicate with parents, and I'd be really curious to see how it works! (I'm guessing it will be brilliant) Kudos for problem solving and meeting your parents where they are, instead of just staying upset over the problem!
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 2, 2010

    My daughter's girl scout troop has a facebook page. And the youth group of the church I grew up in has one.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    also my old school has a site. The principal is the administrator on it. They post different events on it.
     
  9. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jan 3, 2010

    I think it's an interesting idea too and I would also like to see how it pans out if you decide to go for it. However, I just wanted to mention that if you go with a blog the parents can sign-up for e-mail updates and whenever you post anything to the blog it will be sent directly to their e-mail inbox. So if they're on the computer a lot I would think they would also check their e-mail frequently. If they have cell phones with e-mail then they would also receive updates on their cell phones. Just food for thought...
     
  10. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Jan 3, 2010

    A great way to modernize the learning environment as FB and Twitter seem to command so much attention these days. I too would heed the warnings that have been mentioned here. Somehow, my union would probably be against the idea, as would my admin. However, I noticed that there's an application in FB that allows you to track the books you read (and you can rate/review them), which could complement an independent reading program.

    We have to accept the fact that today's learner is tech-oriented and this might be a great way to reach them. Just proceed with caution...
     
  11. chessimprov

    chessimprov Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2010

    Make sure you keep the page strictly for educational purposes. Don't get into the phase of making the page too fun by adding unnecessary applications to Facebook. Or, if you like the fun stuff, have a separate account for personal/fun use and keep your other account just for professional networking.
     
  12. HappyLearning

    HappyLearning Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2010

    Thanks!

    Thanks for all the feedback! I do have a personal Facebook, but will not it any way have it be connected to the classroom page. Not that there is anything too innappropriate on my page... I just like to keep my personal and professional lives seperate a bit! I'll also keep in mind the idea of using it for my communication with parents-- not for their communication with me about absences or anything like that. I'll be running it by my administrator this we when we return, I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2010

    You could also try Twitter-especially if it's short communications and reminders about what's going on/what's due this week.
     
  14. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I have been thinking about doing this for a couple months too!
    I have seen other peoples' pages where you can't write on their walls. Maybe you could set it up so that it's a read only type thing.

    It would be cool to provide links for educational sites that the parents could visit for parenting skills, educational games etc.

    If you plan to put photos up, make sure you have parental permission--i wouldn't put names out there though.
     
  15. KarenPreK

    KarenPreK Companion

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    Jan 4, 2010

    I really like the idea, however when a person has several Facebook friends and/or is a fan to several fan pages, they will have a few pages worth of friend or fan page updates to look through. Something as important as parent communication needs to be something that won't get lost among other friend updates.

    It's not a bad idea, though, but as you said, do make sure you communicate w/ them through some other means, bc some parents will miss things you write on your wall. You probably already know to get a fan page rather than a regular Facebook account. You can set it up where parents would not be able to write on your fan page wall.

    I have a class blog for parents on Wordpress. I can add photos to it & webpages, and I can set the blog posts and webpages w/ a password so that only parents can see it. I use the Widgets for "Upcoming Events", "What we are learning", & sometimes I add "Classroom Needs", or "Lost & Found". I use pages for any kind of info I might need to give them.

    When I asked parents for supplies for our Gingerbread House project, I posted a list of what we needed, and asked the parents to post what they would bring in the comments. That way, we didn't get too many of one item.

    The blog is perfect for me. If you'd like to see it, it's at this link: http://stsprek4.wordpress.com/
    (Sorry, I can't give out the password, though)
     
  16. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Feb 8, 2010

    I dont know about Facebook (since its blocked on our classroom computers anyway) but Shutterfly has great free websites that I use for my room. you can post entries, pictures, videos,a calendar, a class list...anything under the sun! My parents absolutely love it because its right there under their fingertips and they can share with with family!
     

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