After posting about how to create a Google Plus community for your class one of my readers here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning asked about whether there is a way to do the same on Facebook. Her question got me thinking : how come I have been blogging for all these years and never came into my mind to post a tutorial on how teachers can create a Facebook group for their students. Although it is not on my posting schedule for today, I am not letting the idea go because if if I postpone it I might probably forget about it.
Why create a Facebook page for your class ?
As a teacher, I would not want to add my students to my friend list on Facebook not because of any considerations other than the fact that their feeds would not be relevant to mine. Believe me I tried it before and I ended up regretting it so I had to go back and unfriend all. This is where a Facebook page or group comes in handy. Both you and your students will be able to post to the group and all members will see it.
A Facebook Page for your class is an informal learning environment where you and your students get to extend and enrich the learning experiences started in the classroom.
How to use your class Facebook page ?
Here some of the tips to help you manage the Facebook group for your class :
- From the start, set out clear and strict rules on what to post and share . Make it clear to them that this page is not for personal stuff, the page is for LEARNING.
- Talk to them a bit about digital citizenship and explain to them what makes up a good netizen. Here is a detailed guide for teaching digital citizenship.
- You also need to teach them about copyright issues and how to appropriately credit the sources they might want to cite. Here is a list of important resources to help students learn about copyright.
- If you need permission from their parents, go ahead and ask for it. It might be a good idea to invite parents to join in and observe the learning that is taking place within the Facebook page you create for the class.
Benefits of engaging students in a Facebook page for class ?
First, most students love Facebook so they are already familiar with how it works. In trying to contribute to their Facebook page, students will be drawing on different skills: writing, searching, curating, and sharing.They will also get to learn collaboratively and sharpen their digital literacy skills. As a teacher, your rule is only to facilitate and direct the learning that is unfolding in the page.Additionally, when students participate in such informal learning platforms, they get to develop social and emotional intelligence which is pivotal to their overall personality development.
Here is how to create a Facebook Page for your Class
1- Head over to Facebook/pages and click on " cause or community "
2- Type a name for your community, tick "I agree " then click on " get started "
3- Provide a short description of your community and if you have a website for your class you can link it there too.
4- Upload a photo for your community if you don't have one click on " skip"
5- To make it easy for students to remember the web address , you can choose a simple name or use the one provided by Facebook as is shown in the snapshot below
6- Click on skip to skip advertising options
Congratulations, now your page is up and running. Here is what to do next
7- Send the web address of your newly created page to your students to like it. Or if you have their email addresses , invite them using the " invite by email " option.
8- Customize the settings of your page. To do this click on " edit page " and choose from the drop down menu " edit settings ".
9- Customize admin roles and if you want you can allow multiple admins to manage the page. here are some links to help you learn how to do it :
- How do I add other admins or change admin roles for my Facebook Page?
- What are the different kinds of Page admins and what can they do?
- How many admins can a Page have?
- How do I remove an admin of a Facebook Page?
- Why did I lose admin privileges for my Page?
- Can multiple people use the same account to manage a Page?
- How can I feature Page admins on my Page?
- How can I feature other Pages on my Page?