There was lots about social media at last week’s #BettShow. Social media marketing for education empowers organisations to reach and engage with existing and new students globally. The various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest offer much higher participation than conventional means of communication. With an ever-increasing population of students and teachers present on social media – it can prove to be a great tool for communication, collaboration and CPD too.
It’s crucial to separate your personal life from your professional life.
You connect with family and friends on social networking sites, but is it a good idea to accept your students as your friend or connection on these platforms?
Many LEAs have specific policies on how social media can be used by teachers and while guidelines will vary, a few common sense rules remain. Where possible avoid connections with students or pupils and don’t list your school as your place of work, which will make you easy to find.
If you intend to post learning resources for your students you may consider having a professional account (e.g. a fan page on Facebook, rather than your own account) solely for that purpose.
Do use social media. Use it in innovative ways – see the info-graphic (source) to see how teachers in the US are being super creative with various channels – including video.
Above all, be smart about how you use it and apply security settings appropriately. If you have a social media presence, it’s more than likely some of your students are going to search for you and request to be your friend. It’s crucial to separate your professional and personal life when using social platforms. There are a variety of ways you can hide yourself, from using a pseudonym – one common workaround is to remove your surname from your settings.
If it’s truly not necessary for you to create two accounts then do make good use the privacy and security settings (here’s how to control visibility on Instagram, protect your Tweets and keep Facebook posts private). Do you think there’s anything else teachers need to know?