10 tips for using Facebook in the classroom

Ian Fordham

Ian Fordham is the Co-founder of The Education Foundation, the UK’s first cross sector education think tank and Director of the Edtech incubator, the first national education technology accelerator programme. He is a leading education entrepreneur and thought leader on the future of education, learning and policy development.

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Website: www.ednfoundation.org Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook is a vital tool for teaching and learning in the 21st century and for making education more social. It is already being widely used in colleges and universities across the UK and globally, but it has the potential to be a game changer for teachers, schools and the classroom. Here's ten tips to help get you started.

1. Use Facebook groups to create a space to share educational resources and knowledge. Subject materials and files can be uploaded to groups, and teachers and pupils can post content and encourage their fellow students to engage.

2. Facebook can be used as a way to inspire pupils about a subject by using a tool they like and are familiar with already – set up groups for particular subject topics such as history or science to bring to life your subject material.

3. You can turn on ‘pending posts’ to review posts to groups before they appear on the wall. Being able to review posts before they appear gives you more control of what appears on timelines, pages and groups.

4. Utilise privacy shortcuts to make sure you’re clear on who can see posts, you can access the privacy shortcuts by clicking on the padlock logo at the top right corner of your timeline and adjust your settings.

5. Pupils and teachers can still keep a professional distance - classroom groups are closed and pupils and teachers do not have to be friends on Facebook to interact.

6. Use the ‘View as’ button on your Timeline to see what your profile looks like to different people - using this function enables you to ensure that they are in control of who can view what content on their profile.

7. Use the ‘activity log’ button on your Timeline to curate different profiles for different audiences - the activity log enables you to choose which of your activity can be viewed and by whom

8. Untag photos you might be uncomfortable with or change their audience.

9. Familiarise yourself with Facebook’s reporting tools - there are two main ways to contact Facebook - in the help centre which provides information and contact links sorted by topic and from content on the site where people can report abuse or violations of Facebook’s standards through the reporting tool.

10. Know where to find support with Facebook’s Family Safety Centre - https://www.facebook.com/safety.

If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below.

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