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I looked on the Facebook pages of four different schools to evaluate their usage of social media as a means of communicating with parents of their pupils and the local community.

One school uploaded a lot of statuses about what different classes were doing, especially the more exciting areas of the curriculum, for example basket weaving, bollywood dancing, school trips, visits etc. Any photos with children in were of the backs of heads etc, most likely to keep in line with any privacy policy. There were lots of images of teachers however in World Book Day costumes.

Another school’s FB page seemed to be more in usage to send reminders, for example reminders of own clothes day, parents evening, swimming costumes etc. Other posts were asking questions, for example “For World Book Day teachers will be reading extracts from some books, which would you choose?”. I liked that some of the posts from this school’s page were more community based, such as a notice saying that the local library is being closed for refurbishment, I feel that this makes the school feel like a hub for the community. Pictures of events are also uploaded and resources.

The third FB page I looked at was very aimed at parents, reminding them of events and thanking them for involvement. This one is much less active but lots of parents seem to comment on the posts.

The fourth FB page I looked at is very active, notifying parents of every event and happening. After school clubs and rehearsal schedules are all heavily publicised. The use of ICT is very good, with a live camera of eggs that are being kept in Early Years being linked to on the FB page. I think this is a very good idea and very exciting for children to keep an eye on at home and stimulate discussion. Multiple teachers have access to the page and sign off with things like ‘Year 6 Team’ – for example when Yr6 went on a residential there were regular updates. I am very impressed with the activity and many parents use it as a means of communication with the school.

I think FB can be a very good means of communication with the local community but I think you have to be very careful about what is uploaded, especially images of children. I think it is best used if all teachers have access and can post about individual classes, or even if each class had a page then more personalised messages can be sent.A negative of using social media is that anybody can put a public message on the wall that could present a negative view of the school, such as a complaint about a certain teacher or activity. Despite any negatives I feel the convenience of it as a medium to send reminders to parents is second to none, especially when paired with text alerts, newsletters, and other forms of social media.

 

Thanks for reading,

Jack

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