Guide To Facebook For School Counselors Released

By Jackie Cohen 

Just days after Facebook unveiled secure groups limited to students and academic institutions, a new initiative aims to educate school counselors about the social network.

The American School Counselor Association and iKeepSafe used grant funding from Facebook to create a guide to help educators better understand how to use the social network.

The result, available on Facebook’s safety page, can help school counselors with four aspects of social media:

  1. Developing school policies.
  2. Responding to online incidents that impact learning conditions.
  3. Detecting at-risk behavior.
  4. Technology literacy, online reputation and social awareness.

Facebook Vice President of U.S Policy Joel Kaplan said in a prepared statement:

Facebook is deeply committed to helping teens and educators understand the value of social media in education. That is why we are thrilled to collaborate with iKeepSafe and the American School Counselor Association to provide valuable resources to these educators. Facebook for School Counselors highlights specific ways that school counselors encounter social media and empowers them with resources and information to benefit their schools, students and colleagues.

Marsalil Hancock, president of iKeepSafe, added:

It’s important to provide school counselors—often the first line of defense in managing digital incidents with students—the necessary tools and skills to be competent and confident. We applaud Facebook for leading the industry in providing these great resources.

The press release about the announcement also included a quote from Kate Louis, a middle school counselor in San Diego:

This guide has provided me with a roadmap for how to advise students, teachers and parents about the best ways to use Facebook. It has helped me advise students about the responsibilities they have to protect their personal information and to ensure that they are using Facebook to portray themselves in the most positive manner possible.