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General Chat Thread, Use of social networking sites in schools in General; Hi all, Been asked to look into other Schools, Academies and Trust's use of social networking. Would love to hear ...
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    Use of social networking sites in schools

    Hi all,

    Been asked to look into other Schools, Academies and Trust's use of social networking. Would love to hear how you use or if you use social networking in your educational workplace, I am guessing that the outcome for most places is that you use it as a way to push information to parents / stakeholders. However I would be very interested to know if you use it as a way to communicate with students through things like Facebook groups for year groups / cohorts.

    Also, have you came across any implications of the use of social networking?

    Thanks!

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    nikaso's Avatar
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    I know our PE department has both a Facebook page and a Twitter account which are used to share relevant information about fixtures, achievements etc. Other than that I know a couple of departments have experimented with blogs but I think that has fallen away.

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    I currently hold the school Twitter and Youtube accounts (Well, I say I do, they all go to Online@.. which is just an alias, currently set to me)
    Youtube has one video of it. Of the old headmaster, actually. Twitter has absolutely zero (but has followers, for some reason..). I don't know if we have a Facebook account. They never seem to get used, nobody comes to me with requests and we don't have a designated Social Media person. So they just sit there idle. Not the best use of them, I guess.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    We use Twitter a lot to disseminate information with a stream on our website.

    YouTube - No

    Facebook - We have an auto-generated page which I took ownership of. Nothing on it though.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    So far, so good. We have no Facebook page nor official Twitter account. Music dept has an unoffical Twitter account which the HoD runs, updates, manages etc.We have a website, an on-line VLE, ParentMail, letters home etcI have this recurring nightmare in which we suddenly decide to have a Facebook page.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    We are looking at using Yammer which is now owned by Microsoft and will be linked to Office365.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    We're a college, and we have a Facebook site which is used very occasionally when somebody decides to tell me what to add. Some departments run their own FB sites but I have no idea as to what happens on those. We have a twitter feed, which is used to keep the students up to date with events and this displays on the front page of our website. Ideally, I'd like a tweet a day but no one tells me what they want tweeted so not much happens. At the mo, we are having a new building so there are some updates about that. Admissions have their own feed, but it is rarely used, mostly when they go out and canvas local schools. ICT has one too, which is used to alert about major IT events. Again this feeds to our website. Our last tweet as 25/09 (and before that 09/07). The boss keeps saying "I must tweet more" and that's as far as it gets. To be fair, we have little downtime so it's probably as up to date as it gets. It has 18 followers! The music department has a youtube account and post clips of the annual concerts to it. We also have a Flickr with some art photos but that hasn't been updated in the 2 1/2 years that I've been here.

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    We have active and well used facebook & twitter accounts, most departments have their own official twitter accounts too - separates school/private accounts.

    Whenever I/we put items on the website (news, sports results etc.) I'll add a snippet & link on Facebook

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    I have no problem with the use of Social Networking, but schools need to be mindful of the following:

    - Many social networking sites have a minimum age of 13 for user accounts; you should not be doing anything that means that children under that age are using those sites.

    - Social networking sites used in an educational environment must be used with accounts set up by and monitored by the school. Staff must never use their personal accounts in conjunction with these sites. This is as much to protect their careers as to safeguard the little darlings.

    - School policy on how these sites are used and monitored must be clear. The school needs to be mindful of potentially reputation damging incidents.

    Properly set up and run with clear, enforceable policies in place social networking can work well. If it is not managed properly then there is the potential for major problems.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014), pcstru (12th February 2014)

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    Twitter - yes, I am involved with this through my Marketing role, this is used for promo, talking about what we do, visitors etc as well as the odd chit chat.

    Facebook - Same as above

    YouTube - Same as above, we sometime make videos about boarding, snippets of plays etc on there, 4-5 a year maybe.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    We have about 20 twitter accounts. One for each department within school. Some are very well used, some not at all. Our main school account is followed by about 700 people and is simple a broadcast account - we show the feed on our website too. Some departments regularly post and converse with students. With regards to what elsiegee40 suggests it's probably best for schools to only use official accounts - The teaching standards suggest all communication needs to be open to scrutiny. However there are many teachers safely using what seem to be 'personal' accounts well in other schools. As ever, policy is important here. Elsie also makes a great point about the T&Cs of these sites, and the under 13 rule. I find twitter is best, because our students and parents can view everything we publish, without feeling the need to join.

    We have a facebook page - only to bag the name and prevent others creating something without our knowledge. We do not use it at all.

    Our Youtube channel is used to host promotional videos for the school, and showcase some students work.

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    We're just starting to move in this direction.

    I've been generating twitter accounts for those departments that have requested one, so we now have approximately 10 accounts including a main school one and also one for the headteacher. They've started off relatively slowly in terms of use, but it has been picking up over the last few weeks.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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    rad
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    Twitter - yes, it links to our website
    YouTube - used to host videos for website
    Facebook - nothing official

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    Nope... We don't use social networking for teaching & learning at all really, other than with Yr11-13, via twitter (particularly History dept). Twitter's terms state legal contractual age (15 in UK?), FB's state 13... too complicated for staff when you have a teaching group which straddles the age limit, so we rarely recommend it. For lower years, departments use Edmodo groups instead.

    But we do use all common methods for general news / marketing / PR, scheduled via Buffer...

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    We use twitter and Facebook. Our school website pushes out any posts we make. We don't use any as incoming communications though. Comments are hidden or even deleted.

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    jb2201 (12th February 2014)

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