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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Facebook impact on Learning Platform in Technical; Some of our school Governors have raised the possibility of using Facebook as a way of communicating with students, for ...
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    Facebook impact on Learning Platform

    Some of our school Governors have raised the possibility of using Facebook as a way of communicating with students, for example a Duke of Edinburgh group, alerting students to meetings and news etc.

    I'd like to gather your opinions on this subject, perhaps how it has worked (or not worked) in your school, opinions on safety and also how it might impact the Learning Platform (positive or negative).

    I look forward to hearing from you...

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    Opening yourself up to a can of worms, unders 13s (I think) cant use it (though I know students do), students will have to create FB account if they didnt have one and some parents dont like that, bad comments on profiles etc etc..

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    jgisborne (6th June 2011)

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    irsprint84 is correct that users cannot register under facebook's T&Cs until they are 13.... which opens up a whole can of worms for secondary schools which usually take children at age 11. Many children under the age of 13 do have accounts, but schools should not be condoning or encouraging them to do so.

    Facebook is great for communicating, but should not, in my opinion, be the method of communication with anyone.

    Any staff member using facebook should not be friends with any of the school's students (to protect themselves and their careers) and should only use the school's account to administer such a group, not their personal account (again covering their backs)

    Young people should have the choice about whether or not to have facebook accounts. While many of them do, if my two are anything to go by, it may be starting to drift out of fashion... these days it's xBox for my 15 year old and skype for the 17 year old.

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    We only use Facebook to communicate non-sensitive regular news & updates with parents. Never with students. S'just too risky. I suggest to point some of your School Governors to the DoE website to look at the old BECTA guidance on there (if it's still accessible). Using twitter would be slightly more appropriate than Facebook, but still brings the same inherant risks, and still has an age-related issue (allbeit an implied issue)...

    ie: Twitter terms state...
    You may use the Services only if you can form a binding contract with Twitter and are not a person barred from receiving services under the laws of the United States or other applicable jurisdiction. You may use the Services only in compliance with these Terms and all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules and regulations.
    In UK this minimum age is 7, but between 7 and 17 (inclusive) still requires parental consent for it to be considered "binding".

    All things considered, the best thing would be to just stick to using the school's own website for such things.

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    if my two are anything to go by, it may be starting to drift out of fashion... these days it's xBox for my 15 year old and skype for the 17 year old
    Blackberry Messenger seems to be the next hip thing at the moment - every teenager I know wants a blackberry, purely for BBM. *eyeroll*

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    Im with the "can of worms" argument here. If people at the school/college want/need to communicate with students - then it should be via the official in school/college methods. Most of the VLE providers out there now have "social" interfaces to support this - managed forums etc. Even Sharepoint has gone all social in the MySite area with "whats happening now".

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgisborne View Post
    Some of our school Governors have raised the possibility of using Facebook as a way of communicating with students, for example a Duke of Edinburgh group, alerting students to meetings and news etc.
    That sounds fine (Duke of Edinburgh groups are going to be over 13), but only as an added extra - keep your VLE and own website as the canonical source of news, alerts, etc, but a Facebook account for the school might be a handy way for some people to pick up information. A Facebook app might be appropriate, too, as an advertising tool and maybe for parents to use to receive information.

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    I'm on the side of can of worms too....

    Just spent an hour, this afternoon, with two different students, with an investigation into bullying via Facebook.

    Add to that the investigation on Staff Facebook use, and derogatory comments about the college, and you can get an idea of how it gets used.

    I would not be a fan of having a Facebook page dedicated to a particular part of the curriculum, as it flags up all sorts of safeguarding issues.



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