Lunchbox, check. School supplies, check. Making Facebook upkeep a part of the back to school routine for parents and teachers. What?
As students head back to school in the coming weeks, here are a few of our own tips, and some suggestions from Facebook, to help keep accounts safe online.
Tips for Teachers
Know the rules
Make sure you know your school’s policy for Facebook use before opening an account. Make sure your students are over the age of 13, and that you notify parents and get their permission before reaching out to students.
Create friend lists
Teachers can create a friend list called “students” and adjust the privacy settings to control exactly what students will see. For example, you could allow students to see your basic information but not allow them to see your tagged photos or wall posts by your other friends.
Engage using groups
Teachers can leverage the Facebook group function for a specific class or project, and invite students to join. This will provide a way for students and educators to discuss relevant topics on a platform students love. There’s a discussion board where students can share thoughts.
Use the Facebook wall within the Facebook group to share content such as news clips, interesting articles, websites and videos. Then ask your students to do the same.
Discuss online safety
Teachers can be a valuable resource for students by talking about what is appropriate online behavior, including keeping passwords private, never talking to strangers online, and treating others respectfully.
Teachers, Facebook has a page for educators that will keep you up to date with tips and tricks for using the platform.
Tips For Parents
Know your teen’s friends
Just as in real life, you want to know who your kids are hanging out with, the same is true on Facebook. Help your kids set up their privacy settings, and make sure that only their friends in real life make it on their Facebook friends list.
If you don’t know how to use Facebook, ask your teen for some pointers and create your own account. That way you can understand the experience, and why it’s so important to your child’s life.
Report anything bad
Reporting to Facebook is anonymous and links exist throughout the site. Watch for and report content that you would want removed — you can learn more about this by visiting the help section on the site. Know where to go when you find inappropriate contact has been made.
See the big picture
Help your kids understand the long-term implications of their posts. What they share online today can come back to haunt them when they are applying to colleges or looking for work.
Do your homework
Encourage your teens to share the blogs and web sites that they read with you. Do a regular Google search on your teens’ name, phone number and address. You’re not invading their privacy, but finding out what kind of information about your kids is showing up in the public domain.
What do you think of these back-to-school tips for Facebook use?