Don’t Believe The Hype
Facebook is sometimes an awkward word within schools. Social media can often be overlooked by schools because of stories of teachers losing their jobs for what they’ve posted online. Fortunately, these are rare cases and there is protection in place to prevent sorts of inappropriate behaviour to be broadcasted.
Create A Policy
Schools should create a policy to show teachers what is appropriate to post on their personal page and what is not. But your school should also create a Facebook Page specific to your school. This creates a means by which your school can establish a controlled environment from which important and valuable content can be published. As well as a policy your school should create a plan of what content is to be published – photos, videos, personal information etc. This allows your school to plan for consent off parents or guardians before posting personal items.
What To Share
The most obvious thing to share on Facebook is your school news. This creates an excellent opportunity for your school to connect with your students, their families and prospective students. If your content is clear and concise then your audience will use your Facebook Page as their source of news.
Sometimes parents want to find out what their child is doing at school. Facebook offers a solution to this through updates on the Page’s wall. This is a simple, quick and convenient way for schools to share and parents to view.
It can also become an instant source for announcement. If the school has a closure people may rely on Facebook to give them this news. “Example School is closed today due to…” can instantly tell hundreds of parents and students of the closure.
Schools can use Facebook Events to invite and also showcase past events. Events allow students and family to RSVP and to gain up to date information on changes to the event. If used to its full potential, Facebook Events can lead to an increase in the attendance to your school events.
Facebook can be a great way to engage with your audience through photos. You can use photos to show:
- School trips – prospective students can see what types of trips your school provide and get a feel for the school’s personality.
- Student work – this is excellent to use for students and parents. Showcasing a student’s work can show parents what type of work their children do and also heaps praise and reward for students. This kind of recognition could prove priceless for student motivation.
- School culture – every school has a specific culture, whether it be an historical, ideological etc. Using photos on Facebook can show what type of culture your school exhibits. Photos of charity work, fundraisers, founders days, celebrations etc. can really put across your school culture.
School events can be extremely fun and videos to showcase this can really provoke positive memories. Here are a few examples of what videos can be used on Facebook:
- Sporting events
- Interviews with students, teachers etc.
Your school can harbour Facebook’s great ability to connect and engage. Students, parents and teachers can participate in a variety of online discussions.
Your school can use the Discussions tab to create and communicate with your audience. Discuss school news, subjects, homework etc. and allow your students to participate and engage with each other. Parents can give instant feedback and can be used as a great research tool.
Schools have historically sent out ‘surveys’ to parents to request feedback on a certain subject. This costs money, takes time and doesn’t always get a reply. Using Facebook Polls can greatly increase the amount of information received due to its convenience.
Let us know how your school uses Facebook and how you have found it in the comments below.