View Poll Results: Does your school have a Faacebook page?

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39. This poll is closed
  • Yes - Official - The school administrates the content

    24 61.54%
  • Yes - Unofficial - A random user set this up?

    0 0%
  • No

    14 35.90%
  • Looking into the possibilty of setting one up

    1 2.56%
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General Chat Thread, Should a school have a Facebook page, the risks and benefits?? in General; ...
  1. #1
    roneill631's Avatar
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    Question Should a school have a Facebook page, the risks and benefits??

    I have just been asked to look into the possibility of our school setting up a Facebook page? I am just pondering the risks and benefits to our school setting up a Facebook page? It would be good to get the views of this community with regards to such?

    Should a school set up and administrate their own Facebook page for publicity and better communication with the local community, parents, pupil past and present?

    If your school has experience with this platform, what are the advantages and disadvantages, have you had any parent complain about the school having one. What safeguards have you in place on Facebook to limit any negative interaction? Or any bad experience with it in general.

    What type of content would you publish on it, do you use official school photos, videos? Are you legally allowed to do this? I donít wish to know the name of any school that has went down this route. I am fact finding with regards what the school experience has been? Positive Negative or otherwise, did it have an impact? How many subscribers on average has your school achieved? Etc

    I personally would embrace this but I am a little paranoid about administrating one for the school especially when I canít get access to the platform in the first instance, as it is blocked.
    Last edited by roneill631; 16th March 2012 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    The most significant advantage to having an official page is about controlling the school's digital presence. Like it or not, your parents are using Facebook and are probably discussing the school there. If you search for your school name, do you get results that are about the school? We did, and they weren't always positive, as there were groups set up by pupils and in one case disgruntled parents. Essentially, the school was not in control of its own image on Facebook. In a couple of cases we were able to have unwanted content removed, but not always. Our aim was therefore to crowd out the negative content with quality positive content.

    What you want is exactly the same as you want for Google and any other search engine: when someone searches for your school, you want your content to be the first result. We recently launched our official school page, with an associated Place location, and that gets far more activity (even though we so far have only around 60 likes) and is always returned first in results.

    Ours is set up largely as an automated page that pulls results from the school's RSS news feed. People who Like the page are allowed to comment on our content (which we carefully monitor) but cannot post new content themselves.

    If you have the proper photograph permissions in place, you should not have any legal issue with using them on Facebook page. Check the wording of your photograph permissions carefully to see if this applies. We have had no complaints or conerns from parents about posting content there.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 16th March 2012 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3

    X-13's Avatar
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    Facebook pages ToS.

    Also, beware of uploading photos.

    The parents may give YOU permission to use them. But...


    Quote Originally Posted by Facebork
    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

    ..I doubt they'd be happy about that. Even if they upload the same/similar pictures.

  4. #4

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Similar terms tend to apply when you send photos to the local paper, but few parents complain about that. However, we do err on the side of caution. We link to photos on our own website rather than upload them. The photos we have uploaded do not contain children.

  5. #5
    mthomas08's Avatar
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    We have one, no one can post/comment or anything - this is an important thing.

  6. #6

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    We have one, no one can post/comment or anything - this is an important thing.
    How have you disabled commenting on content the school posts? I can't find that setting on our page.

  7. #7
    jdoyle's Avatar
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    we have a page set up but as it's still an experiment we have yet to do much promotion of it to parents (starts shortly). As FB is blocked going the browser route, I update it via email. Ditto twitter.

  8. #8
    mthomas08's Avatar
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    No your right, that's one setting thats missing. Raised a good point on that - although im admin I did not set this up but I will raise this issues

    Thanks

    Edit:

    I think the way forward at the moment is to NOT create a group but instead create a person and name it company name etc. Then you have far better controls, just means another username/password is required and instead of "Like" its "Add as a friend".

    I will talk to the boss next week about this because control is needed to stop person A from saying I hate this school etc etc.
    Last edited by mthomas08; 16th March 2012 at 10:27 AM.

  9. #9
    mb2k01's Avatar
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    We do - I set it up years ago (mainly to secure the vanity url when it was available!) and it slowly attracted 'likes' which forced us to speed up using it.
    We now use it as a valuable engagement tool. Parents and Students (as well as Alumni) have the opportunity to post questions, comments, images etc. The page itself has 4 admins set up to use it, although I tend to do the vast majority of admin. We have strong profanity settings applied, but still allow people to post unmoderated.

    It has been 'sold' to Students as an example of how Social Networking can be used positively, and allows them another central point of contact if they need it.

    One thing to watch might be the new page message facility which has recently come online. Before that, the only communication possible was via the wall - now users have the page timeline to post to, and if the page is set up with the facility then they can now also 'private' message (as with a normal user profile). We chose to keep this disabled, as the whole point was all communication stayed public and fully transparent etc.

  10. #10

    JJonas's Avatar
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    I dont think there is a setting to stop users commenting on School posts, you can stop users starting new posts on your wall.
    We just moderate the comments that are being posted.

  11. #11
    RichCowell's Avatar
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    We've had one for a while now and we do get quite a bit of interaction on it... I don't post clear photos of the pupils, but do post general images or ones in which you can't identify pupils...

    We use Facebook as well as Twitter as an extra method of communication with the pupils and parents, have have had several parents and pupils posting on the wall asking legitimate questions...

    Obviously there will always be those who abuse it, but the built in filters do quite a good job, and if people abuse it persistently you can always block them...

    The reason I pushed for it initially was so we could have an official presence on there, rather than unofficial pages we couldn't control...

    Both Facebook and Twitter have been 100% positive so far.

  12. #12
    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    I will talk to the boss next week about this because control is needed to stop person A from saying I hate this school etc etc.
    If control means "delete all negative comments on sight", I'd disagree. If you mean "engage with them and turn a negative into a positive one" then you might be onto something.

    I would personally only delete if it's clearly spam or using offensive language, identifies an individual or has some safeguarding or privacy issue. If it's anything else then I'd be looking to engage with the poster and address their concerns.

    As I said in the thread about Twitter the other week, having a social media presence needs resources throwing at it in terms of somebody to keep an eye on comments and get an appropriate answer, and it really ought to be somebody with sufficient seniority to speak on behalf of the organisation.

  13. #13

    JJonas's Avatar
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    One of the other things that hasnt been mentioned is for an average school a high percentage of your students parents are on Facebook.
    If your School is not using Facebook you are missing out on a valuble communication medium.

  14. #14

    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Just because lots of people are on <insert latest proprietary website>, it doesn't mean the school needs a presence on it and whatever the next mono-culture website that pops up. Not everyone has a computer and not everyone cares what is said on <insert latest proprietary website>.

    When people ask me what i'm not on <insert latest proprietary website>, I say they can call, text, write, email or come round. How many ways do you really need to communicate with people? There's nothing special about <insert latest proprietary website> that makes it better or "great".
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 16th March 2012 at 11:44 AM.

  15. #15


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    Our Head and I looked at this a while ago, in response to a request from one of the Governors. Neither of us were very keen on the idea, we both felt it would be the digital equivalent of having the school graffiti'd every night.

    I'd be prepared to look at it again, but only if I was sure that I wouldn't be involved in setting it up, securing it, uploading content etc. As I can't be assured of that, we're both happy to stay as we are.

    When I was a parent of school-age children, I sometimes felt that their schools tried to communicate too much, and that eventually, what was important communication could get lost in amongst all the dross that was sent home with the kids. Just saying.....
    Last edited by Earthling; 16th March 2012 at 11:49 AM.

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