In a few short weeks, my GCSE pupils will be going on study leave. The exam for my subject is one of the last ones they will do, so once we start approaching the end of June I offer to run an in school revision session for those pupils who wish to come in. However, contacting them all has proved difficult in the past (sending an email does not always guarantee they will read it!). So I thought I would try and use social media (specifically Facebook) as a form of class communication.
We do have a very good intranet at school, which my pupils are used to using all the time to access resources. But they have to log in from home through the school website. I have been told by some of them that once they go on study leave, they only log in if they have to find something for their revision. Whereas they have Facebook on in the background almost all the time!
I know that there is a ‘safer’ form of Facebook in the form of Edmodo, but I don’t have the time to get them used to using it. I am planning on trialling Edmodo with my new GCSE class next year (as I will have 2 years to train them on using it!)
Anyway, back to Facebook.
I decided to set up a ‘page’ after reading this helpful explanation of the difference between ‘page’ and ‘group’. On my page I can post notifications, invitations to events (like revision sessions) and notes (like their holiday prep). Pupils can comment on individual posts I make, but can’t create their own post. However, unlike a group, a page cannot (to my knowledge) be set to private or invitation only. So in theory anyone could comment on the page, but I can delete comments.
It is still early days, but if this works (i.e if I get positive feedback from pupils) then I may use this more often. And if you are thinking of doing the same thing, make sure you check your school’s policy on use of the Internet and social media. I was pleased to find out that my school had the ‘use it sensibly, if in doubt don’t post’ approach. I also checked with our head of ICT before starting this endeavour, and he was quite supportive.