Face book is open here (BFA Saint Albans). I'm probably not the best one to talk about how it is used specifically, however I can go over some things. Teachers create class pages, which they can then use for facilitating communication (sharing multimedia, sending messages, etc . . .). They can post news stories they want their kids to follow, use it to schedule events. The school paper has a page as well. They can use it to become fans of specific people or organization, for example a social studies class might follow a politician. I realize some of this stuff can be done via more traditional tools, but kids use Facebook, they're comfortable with it. If you want to check out some pretty cool examples, MIT's Facebook pages are public.
I can give you some stats on our bandwidth usage to give you an idea of the bandwidth cost of opening Facebook. These represent traffic by category for the past 7 days (which isn't 100% representative of the norm since school just started). The 'microsoft' category is primarily updates (we just switched domains and I don't have our WSUS server up yet--clearly I need to get on that).
Requests Incoming (MB) Outgoing (MB)
microsoft 259,307 45,597.61 1,519.86
YouTube 54,484 33,325.91 1,053.94
education 250,603 7,567.82 15,087.19
Gmail 118,325 5,997.76 2,000.40
Google Docs 108,791 2,694.38 1,560.52
Facebook 271,671 3,658.01 551.15
ads 447,873 3,384.98 704.96
news 139,719 2,150.51 214.01
We don't actively monitor staff/student interactions on Facebook and there isn't a policy. I know a lot of teachers have an informal rule that they don't friend students on their personal accounts. Keeping the 'official' interactions centralized on formalized school pages is a good idea (IMHO). Doing it that way would allow for easy monitoring of the pages if desired.
I don't think there would be any CIPA problems, especially if the interactions are limited to a class page. Regarding FERPA, I have to admit I'm a bit hazy. Would a class Facebook page be considered a student record if they post on it? We do make parents aware that they can opt their student out of these kind of online activities if they so choose.
On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM, David Martin <[log in to unmask]>
A few questions about Facebook:
- Just wondering how many schools have opened Facebook and what ways they are using it in education? Can you give some specific examples?
- What decreases in bandwidth have you seen by opening Facebook?
- How to you address/monitor Staff Student interactions? Do you have a policy in your district?
- What is being done to ensure FERPA/CIPA requirements are being met?
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