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Facebook Educator’s Guide [Everything You Need to Know]

Educators have traditionally helped parents teach young people about a variety of different topics. With the wide spread of social media, educators can now also teach today’s youth regarding appropriate online behavior. As educators, they can guide them about safe, ethical, and responsible Internet use.

Today, Facebook plays a big role in the lives of millions of students, and there is a way to encourage them to use it productively. 

Misuse of social media has become a norm and that is what educated should discourage students from doing while simultaneously sifting educative tools online. Parents and teachers alike should strive towards guiding their students to channel the enthusiasm they have for sites like Facebook to achieve educational goals.

Any kind of technology can be used for good or bad, and so can Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook can also enhance learning inside the classroom and beyond. Educators around the world are trying to integrate the benefits of social networking in student learning, into their national curriculum.

This guide will explain seven ways to use Facebook effectively for teaching and learning.

1. Help Develop and Follow Your School’s Policy about Facebook

It is important for educators to be a part of the development of a school’s Facebook policy. 

At Stanford University in 2008, virtually every undergraduate student was active on Facebook. Yet there was no policy regarding Facebook on campus. There was no discussion among staff and teachers about how to best use Facebook to enhance learning at Stanford.

That year, Stanford brought teachers, administration and researchers together in a series of meetings to discuss how to use Facebook and other social media to achieve university goals. Today, this social media group continues to meet four times a year, updating the approaches of the program according to new developments.

Create a Social Media Policy

The Stanford team can be used as a good case study for educators wanting to create a social media policy for their own institution. The key is simple: Bring together a group of stakeholders at your school and meet regularly to stay updated. The approach to how Facebook may be used can be different from Stanford, but the goal remains the same. 

Here it is also important for the social media policy to stay updated according to the changes in social media trends.

There isn’t any “one size fits all” Facebook policy, but you should check out  for strategies and examples of social media policies.

2. Encourage Students to Follow Facebook’s Guidelines

In addition to developing and following your school’s policy on Facebook, it’s important to encourage students to follow Facebook’s guidelines.

Facebook Protects Minors

To be eligible to sign up for Facebook, an individual must be 13 years of age or older. Facebook complies with United States privacy laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

This law does not allow websites to collect information from young children, so Facebook prohibits them from using the service. If you have students that are under the age of 13, they will not be able to create an account or access any groups or pages on Facebook.

This could compel children to make Facebook accounts with fake birthdates, which should be strongly discouraged. This is for children’s own protection and safety. Facebook’s policy states that people who register must use real information, and students should be encouraged to follow this policy.

Facebook Community Standards

Facebook has outlined standards for content in an online resource called “Facebook’s Community Standards”. These should be shared with your students to encourage appropriate online behavior.

The ever-growing number of people who use Facebook are, in some ways, the world’s largest ‘neighborhood watch’. ‘Report Abuse’ buttons can be found on nearly every Facebook page and post. If users report offensive or abusive content, someone on the Facebook safety team will investigate and remove it from the site, if needed. For information on how to report violations, see the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Educators should teach their students to report offensive content to help keep Facebook a safe and positive place for everyone. To learn more about Facebook’s rules and how to resolve problems, you can visit the Facebook Safety Center.

3. Stay Up to Date with Safety and Privacy Settings on Facebook

As an educator using Facebook as an education tool, you should stay updated with safety and privacy settings on Facebook. This will help you understand which settings are right for you and your students. 

Facebook prioritizes giving everyone control over their privacy. This helps create an online environment where teachers, parents, and students can connect and share safely. However, Facebook’s privacy tools are of no use to you, if you do not use them.

Here if a brief guide for you to understand how to use these tools. 

Navigating Privacy Settings on Facebook

When you set up a Facebook account, your account will operate on default privacy settings. The default settings are different for adults and minors. Here are the steps for adjusting your privacy settings:

  • Navigate to “Account” in the upper right-hand corner of any page on Facebook.
  • Click on the down arrow to reach the drop-down box where you’ll find “privacy settings”. 
  • By clicking on privacy settings, you will be taken to the ‘Choose Your Privacy Settings’ page, where you will have the ability to control what information you share and with whom.

Once inside your privacy settings, you can review or adjust your settings for four categories:

  • Connecting on Facebook
  • Sharing on Facebook
  • Apps & Websites
  • Block Lists

Special Privacy Settings for Your Students and Other Minors

It is not very common knowledge that Facebook’s privacy settings work differently for minors. Basic information about both parties appears on their profile, including name, profile picture (if posted), gender and networks.

The difference is that minors do not have a public search listing, whereas adults can be found on search engines such as Google, or Bing. The “Everyone” setting also works differently for minors. When they set information like photos or status updates to be visible to “Everyone,” it is only visible to their friends, friends of friends, and people in any verified school or work networks they have joined. That is, not “Everyone” who has access to Facebook.

The above is also true for Facebook Messages. Even if a minor has selected ‘Everyone’ for ‘Send me messages’, only messages from their friends and friends of friends are delivered to them, not from “Everyone” on Facebook as it is for adults. 

However,  the exceptions for these settings need to be understood, by educators and parents, and should be prevented: 

  • Minors can be found on a public search on Facebook if they change their default setting and select “Everyone” in these two areas: “Search for me on Facebook” and “Send me friend requests.” 
  • If young people misrepresent their age when they register on Facebook and enter a birth year that identifies them as an adult. 

So students should be encouraged to register with real birth year and use the correct settings appropriate for their age. 

Learn more Facebook settings, such as how to turn off Facebook’s Professional Mode.

4. Promote Good Citizenship in the Digital World

Students should also be taught how to behave appropriately in the digital world, just as they are taught to be kind and courteous to people in the real world.

Learning how to become a responsible digital citizen isn’t just a school issue. Developing digital literacy can foster future success for remote and virtual workplaces. It is important for educators to put emphasis on online communication skills to develop professionalism within students.

There are three main components of ‘digital citizenship’. 

  1. Conducting yourself in a civil manner in the online world, just like you would be expected to behave in the offline world. 
  2. Behaving responsibly and compassionately  with your online actions.
  3. Watching out for each other in your online community. By doing so, you are promoting a healthy and safe online community

For this purpose, you can hold classroom sessions to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate online behavior. The psychological effects of various actions or words can also be expressed by students of various sizes, colors and genders.

Facebook Social Reporting Tools

As discussed before, in the Facebook Community Standards section, students can always report bullying, abusive or inappropriate comments. If the abuse is happening in a school-related Facebook Group or on a Facebook Page, students should be encouraged to immediately inform their parents, teacher or principal.

You can learn more about social reporting tools in the Facebook Safety Center.

How Educators Can Combat Cyberbullying

Empathy towards others and the psychological effects of cyber-bullying should be openly discussed. Standing up or reporting on behalf of anyone being bullied should also be encouraged.

You can also discuss this message from President Obama about preventing bullying at or with your students to take a stand against bullying.

Teaching Digital Responsibility

Students should know that their posts and online actions are traceable even if they think they are being anonymous, and can get them into a lot of trouble. It is a serious matter and legal action can be taken against offensive actions and cyberbullying. 

5. Use Pages and Groups Features to Communicate with Students

Educators often find social media to be an unprofessional mode of communication with students. However, it should be understood that Facebook Pages and Groups can be used as a professional and appropriate method to communicate with students online without giving them access to your Personal Account. 

Groups on Facebook

Facebook Groups are an online space where people can interact and share data with others. This is a great way for students to work on collaborative projects with each other and with you. You don’t need to be Facebook friends with someone to interact with them in a Group.

In an educational setting, you should create Groups that are “closed,” not “open.” This means that while the list of group members is public, the content of the Group is private, available only to members of the Group. This helps protect the privacy of your students. 

When a Group member posts something in the Group, other members receive a notification for it. For example, a teacher could post a study question to a class group and all students who are members would get notified.

This can serve as a great opportunity to extend learning outside a traditional classroom and share online inspirations for projects with students. 

Pages on Facebook

In an educational setting, interactions between students and teachers should be open, transparent and secure. Facebook Pages are good for this purpose.

Pages allows you to interact with a specified set of other Facebook members. For a teacher, this could include your students and their parents. A Facebook Page is public facing; anyone can “like” the Page and get updates in their News Feed from the Page administrator.

Pages create an easy way for both teachers and students to share relevant links, like newspaper articles, online videos, or feeds from your class blog or school website. Facebook Pages also have collaborative features, including notes and comments. 

All these tools may be helpful in one-on-one sessions with students and assisting them outside the classroom, while keeping parents on-board. 

Educators can find innovative ways to create posts for Pages or Groups to keep their students engaged and have them like their content. Here are five great ideas for Posts on Facebook to get more likes. On the contrary, you can also hide likes on Facebook for privacy. 

This gives a chance to students to learn on platforms on which they spend the most time and make education less dull and boring. 

6. Embrace the Digital, Social, Mobile and “Always-On” Learning Styles of 21st Century Students

Mobile phones, laptops and tablets have shifted the educational styles from books to digital media. Facebook presents an opportunity for teachers to keep students engaged in learning outside the classroom as well. 

Teaching Digital Natives

With the continuous stream of online content and access to many different perspectives on a topic, students are now able to create meanings for themselves beyond the intent of teachers and indulge in self-learning. 

Understanding and incorporating digital learning opportunities into coursework can increase student motivation and enhance learning, while better meeting the needs of today’s students and their digital learning styles. Some strategies that can be adopted for new learning styles are given below. 

Digital Learning Experience Attributes

  • Interactive: Students who create their own content and interact via social media can express their identity and creativity.
  • Student-Centered: Shifts the learning responsibility to the student, requiring students to take a more active role in their own learning process, and emphasizes teachers as providers of help as needed to overcome difficulties.
  • Authentic: The use of social media and technology should be tied to a specific learning goal or activity.
  • Collaborative: Learning is a social activity, and many students learn best through working with a group of peers. This collaboration and peer feedback can take place in either a virtual or in-person environment.
  • On-Demand: Course content should be made available “on-demand” so the learner can view course materials when, where, and how they want to view the content, whether on a desktop computer, mobile phone or handheld device.

Social technologies like Facebook can help students compare their understanding of the current course topic with their peers. Moreover, as students share their thought processes with their peers online, they are able to help each other work through difficulties, while also building a collaborative peer support system.

Educators can also make videos on certain topics for students to be able to access whenever they need. These videos can also be made public to educate other students or people about something. This will help grow your professional career. Know more about how you can get views on Facebook videos on PopularityBazaar. 

Facebook as a Mobile Learning Tool

The use of Facebook as a mobile learning tool should be designed so that it integrates the best qualities of a traditional classroom with the benefits that come with access to real time and mobile technology.

Facebook provides educators with ease as it automatically converts the web-based content you share on your Facebook Pages and Groups into a mobile format. That means, without any additional work from you, students can access your content on-the-go through tablet computers or mobile phones.

Moreover, a mobile learning platform provides members of the class with opportunities for further participation and reflection. This approach also gives students the freedom to use technology in a way that best fits with their individual learning styles.

7. Use Facebook as a Professional Development Resource

Most educators find it hard to make time to connect with their colleagues. Facebook can act as a resource for professional development.

You can use the Facebook in Education Page as a place to learn about and share best practices, teaching strategies, or tips on how to use Facebook and other social technologies in the classroom.

Another way to use Facebook in professional development is to “like” the Facebook Pages that relate to your subject. When you “like” Facebook Pages that are relevant to you, Facebook will deliver resources of interest to your News Feed.

You can also create a Group on Facebook for the teachers in your school, district or subject-matter association. Doing so provides on-demand opportunities for professional development, knowledge exchange and the ability to easily share content.

Using Facebook does not always have to be bad for students and children. In fact, it is quite hard to avoid using the platform with its social advantages. Hence, students should be taught how to use Facebook in a way that will result in their betterment and provide educational benefits.  

Article by

Rishasri Kashy
I am a dedicated writer with two years of experience at PopularityBazaar. My focus on creative storytelling and insightful analysis has allowed me to connect with readers on a meaningful level, enhancing their understanding of key topics. My work continues to evolve as I explore new themes and ideas. Linkedin

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