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? We can be there with friendly reminders about sports practices, mufti days, great achievements, and notifications that reports are being sent home.
|Strip Design App (Thanks @Rakt)|
It was one of those pipe dreams, I had been spending a lot of my energy 'wishing' it would happen. Well guess what? It's happened...
So now I am actually sitting down to DO THIS THING.
My energy has shifted from "Can we please..." to "How? and Help!"
I have so many questions:
Should I enable comments?
I should to give the community 'voice' but what if ...
Should I (or can I?) moderate comments?
Who am I to drive the tone and content of the community? (that's an awful lot of power)
Should it be a page that anyone can 'like' or should members have to be approved?
Why should I be the one who says who is (or is not) in our community?
Should our under 13s be able to 'like' it and if so what are the legal implications around this?
Can we seriously tell our kids that they mustn't 'like' our school?
Should we go fully open and then restrict if necessary - or should we start off restricted and then slowly open it up?
Should I use the facebook interface or do something fancy with wix?
So I am thinking I should assume the best of our community, just like I do with my learners. My school has a community filled with competent, responsible, educated, and well intentioned people, Surely that's how I have to go into this?
If you have had experience or ideas with this exhilarating and terrifying process please comment or drop me a line...
Now I must go write reports - watch this space as the magic unfolds...