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I am the new Student Council sponsor at my school (and a first year teacher) and last night we saw two teaching positions cut by the school board.  One of my student council members came to the board meeting and stayed for the entire 3 hours.  In the end, he said that he felt the students really needed to be better informed.  We pondered some ideas and came up with the idea of creating a Student Council facebook page.  Has anyone else had experience with this?  It seems to me there could be some pitfalls and I am wondering how others have dealt with any possible issues?

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Talk with a few of the kids about the pitfalls. What do you see as being the worst case scenario of using FB? Most kids are using it now. We have kids in our school who started an english page and the kids use it to post their assignments and the instructor is on it at night to answer questions. (not all the time and not immediately, but can check to see if there are questions on particular assignments.) Students also answer questions of each other. I would see a facebook page that is monitored for content and appropriateness very useful for students and probably a nice way to extend student council beyond weekly meetings. 

You might consider using your student council leaders to draw up the guidelines for the page - content, news releases, who has access to the account, etc. 

Hamilton County Virtual School uses a Group in Fb set to "Secret" but I'm not sure they've had much success with it. I set one up for our small group of full-timers here at the new MNPS (Nashville) Virtual Learning Program but I'm still fumbling around figuring out how to optimize its usage and get kids to join it. One other good option may be Edmodo, where you can set up a passcode protected conversation. I'm a bit more optimistic about that option but I do believe that having something at Fb where kids (and pretty much everyone else online) go regularly would be a plus. Hope this helps.

I don't see ANY pitfalls.  I don't get why adults are afraid to talk to kids online.  They're the same people they are in life.  I write about this here:

 Kids and teachers are interacting. Everybody panic!

and here

 Being Safe Online Is Being Safe In Life

 

I've talked to kids and here's what they say (notice the embedded video featuring students).

10 Ways Facebook Strengthens the Student - Teacher Connection

I've talked to teachers who use Facebook too and here's how one first grade teacher is using Facebook with her students and parents.

 8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Shoening's First Grade Class

 

So, my advice. Do it!

And...let us know how it goes.

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