Social Media Sharing
Parents. Legal guardians. They are (or should be!) our partners in education but there are so many factors that often complicate this idea. Time. Work. Family dynamics. Regardless, we as teachers should be making an effort to open up the window to our classroom to those who want to see in. Social media is a great way to do this as long as you do it in a way that is safe and protected.
Before sharing, make sure you know what your school/district’s policy is regarding student sharing. Some may send home waivers for students or you may have to create one. If you need to write your own, maybe start with something like this.
There are so many different ways to share content—teacher made highlight clips, student work, school trips—but always make sure to keep certain information out of your posts. Its best to never include school name, or address and if possible, we try not to ever include student names as well.
We also recommend creating a brand new account for your classroom which helps keep it separate from your personal life. Sharing where you go on the weekend, or what you cooked for dinner isn’t necessarily bad, but if your prime purpose for using social media is to share what takes place in the classroom, it’s usually best to just toggle between two accounts as needed.
If you are unsure of which platform to use, try polling your parents or getting input from them. As the years have passed and our millennial students slowly become parents, we have seen a shift from platforms like Facebook to ones like Instagram and Twitter. Meeting parents where they already are is the easiest ways to gain added participation.
In addition to social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, we love using the student application/learning platform Seesaw. If you are worried about privacy, this is the place for you to go and explore. Seesaw is very similar to Class Dojo, but it allows student participation in addition to the teacher features. This was a game changer for us and we have been using it alongside our social media for years. If you would like to learn more about Seesaw start here.
If you are interested in incorporating social media sharing into your classroom we have some free handouts to use when introducing the idea to parents. Share with them “your why” and include your personal class handle and get started today!