How Educators Can Use Facebook Effectively and Efficiently

  1. Create a separate account just for your classes. Keep two accounts if you want to use Facebook personally as well. This keeps your Facebook relationship at school on a professional level.
  2. Manage privacy settings. If you don’t want to manage two accounts, use these tips to manage privacy to keep your personal and professional lives separate.
  3. Friend students carefully. Make sure you are friending students in current and former classes for professional purposes. Keep as professional a distance on Facebook as you would in person.
  4. Ask students to put you on limited access to their pages. This keeps you from having to see their Spring Break photos, status updates that may indicate why they really missed that midterm, or any other information that may compromise your professional working relationship.
  5. Create lists. Create a list for each of your classes, then keep students in each class on that list. This is a great way to organize your students.
  6. Publish notes for recognition. If you want to recognize accomplishments of particular students or the effort of an entire class, be sure to write a note indicating what you are recognizing and tag all studentsinvolved.
  7. Include your class blog. If you have a class blog, import it to Facebook so it shows up there when you add a new blog post.
  8. Use as a course management system. Use in place of other course management systems such as Blackboard to access all your online information and connections with fewer restrictions.
  9. Stay active. Keep posting messages, use as many Facebook apps and resources as possible, and update status reports so your students know you are engaged and you stay an important part of the Facebook experience.
  10. Get over the term “friend”. Many professors are disturbed by the idea of making friends with their students. Instead of adapting the Facebook term in the common way, try to think about the relationship as one of a mentor, or in an Aristotelian version of a utilitarian friend.

 

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