Social media should be social
When I first started my adventure of using a class Facebook page I wrote a blog about my reasoning (here-> http://ow.ly/6m91l ) . The main reason at the time was because so many parents use and are familiar with Facebook. A year later I can say that is still a great benefit to Facebook but it is not the most powerful aspect. If I were writing the same post now that thought would still make the list, but not the main point. The power of Facebook lies in the social aspect. When I started including parents in our learning with the page and allowed it to be the connection between home and school the real benefit came through. Facebook was a central part of our class because it helped create the community I desired. Parents knew more about their child’s teacher, their child, the class and the other parents.
Facebook is more than another news source. We talked quite a bit about using Facebook tonight on #kinderchat and I’m sure there were a few teachers thinking “this is how I get them to finally read the newsletter.” Using Facebook this way might help how many parents will read the news but it won’t help you much with parent engagement. To really reach the full potential of the page you will need to let the kids “take over.” I don’t mean allowing my Kinder kids to post and comment on Facebook, I mean to let them lead the way in what to post. By the end of the year my classroom page had become the kids page. They suggested what to post, how to word it and how to respond to comments. It became their voice to the parents. This important distinction is what I think lead to the great succeeds of my page. Since the kids felt ownership they went home and asked parents to look at the page. Kids running home to talk about the day? Sound fun? You can find step by step directions on how I created my closed group on Facebook HERE.
@MrWejr had a great post about the difference between talking TO vs WITH parents. Feel it fits in nice with what Im trying to say. Worth a read http://chriswejr.com/2011/09/05/parent-communication-to-vs-with/
Have questions about security or settings. Would love to help. @Matt_Gomez