In recent years there has been a huge amount of schools/ classes setting up blogs and social media accounts. I have worked in different schools that used social media in different ways. I was asked to write this blog post about the advantages and also some things to consider.
- Blogposts/Updates on Facebook/Twitter about what is going on in class – great for children to reflect on the learning and practice their literacy skills
- Parents can keep up to date with what is happening in class/school
- Integration – media education SPHE
- Connect with schools all around the world
- Share learning with others
- Teaches children how to use the internet in a safe way
- Could be useful for homework help
Ask your principal – do not set up a social media account without permission. Check if there is any mention of social media in the school policy. Check if any other teachers in your school are using social media and how it works for them.
What is shared?
This is a really important question to consider and one you need to think about before you decide to set up a social media account. Will it just be text? Will there be pictures? Will it be the learning in the classroom or will extra curricular activities and events be included too?
If there are images with a child’s name/picture then you must have permission from the child’s parents to include this on the blog/social media account.
Who is in charge of content?
Will the content be written by the children only or will the teacher write some of the content? How often will the blog/social media account be updated?
Who monitors the accounts?
This is a big job. There will always be ‘trolls’ and inappropriate comments/messages. You can disable comments on a blog but you will need to have a plan in place for social media accounts.On the IPT blog – I just delete and block anyone who is behaving inappropriately/ being nasty.
Facebook – lots of people have Facebook accounts so its easy to connect with parents.
Twitter – practice summarising with tweets. Connect with schools around the world.
Instagram – nice if you want to focus on photographs.
Pinterest – good way to share projects/artwork.
For a blog – weebly/blogspot is easy to use.
Webwise has lots of great resources for teaching about web safety. You can find their website here.