Tips for Communicating with Students: FaceBook

As children, a lot of us watched The Jetson’s and fantasized about the future.  Now, it is the Twenty-First Century, and while we may not have flying cars or robot maids, we do have some interesting ways to communicate.  Unlike the previous century, we are no longer limited to the telephone, postal service, or in-person meetings.  Now we have many ways to Interact with students,  as Joni Boone illustrated in her Screencasting Blog .

In addition to using multimedia grading and feedback techniques, instructors can now use Facebook and other social media sites to communicate course information and answer students’ questions.  While Facebook can be a marvelous tool, there are some things to keep in mind when using the site with students.  Here are five tips to help instructors use Facebook professionally.

  1. Consider creating a professional Facebook profileThis profile would be used just for communicating with students, and it would keep students from seeing personal pictures and information on your regular site.
  2. Create a Facebook group for your class.   Facebook offers a way to create    School Groups where students can chat or view information about courses.
  3. Educators can also create Facebook Pages that are similar to groups.
  4. Monitor your page or group regularly.  Be sure that students are polite and using collegial language.  Delete any inflammatory comments immediately.

Communicate your expectations to students.  Tell them how to access the Facebook group or page, and

  1. Check out the Facebook in Education Page on Facebook for tips on how to effectively use the site with students of all ages.

Students are already using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They are used to the fast-paced interaction and the ability to share multi-media at the touch of a button.  Communicating with students on Facebook is an excellent way to facilitate learning.

By Lisa Gerardy

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