Knowledge Banks

Guidance on using Facebook

Home » Knowledge Banks » Guidance on using Facebook

To obtain this article

If you are a subscriber to any of our other publications your existing account details can be used to purchase this article. Simply login with your username and password when prompted.

For assistance and general enquiries, call our sales team on 0121 224 7599
 

Guidance on using Facebook


Facebook seems to be becoming an increasing problem for many of our pupils. What should we do to protect them ?

 Firstly, Facebook can be great fun. Everyone can enjoy keeping up-to-date with friends and posting comments. It provides many positives opportunities for keeping in touch and keeping informed. Unfortunately there are also some negatives. People often forget the audience that their comments reach and can post hastily and without proper consideration of who might read it. It encourages young people to share more information than perhaps they would otherwise. Tagging photos, status updates and profiles can all lead to problems now and in the future.  

 

As a school you have a distinct responsibility to help your pupils understand the risks and make the most of the advantages. You need to build into your curriculum opportunities to teach your pupils how they might protect themselves. It is worth reminding pupils that if they are younger than 13 they should not have a Facebook account at all. Of course, many do. You will need to decide what approach to take when you are aware of this.  

 

Discussing the profile that pupils post is probably one of the first aspects that you will want to look at. How much information and what kind of information should they disclose? They need to think carefully about posting a profile picture and should only show the month and day they were born in their profile. They can check how their profile looks by going on ‘view my profile’ and should consider it from the point of view of the audience who might see it. 

 

Privacy settings is another important area to cover. Young people are often unaware of the extent to which they can limit the audience for their posts. You can even customise them to ‘only me’ if you wish. Certainly having a ‘Friends Only’ is a good idea and should be accompanied by caution when accepting people as friends. 

 

It’s true that young people are adept at using social networking websites but they are not always as familiar with the ways of protecting themselves that exist. Check that your pupils are familiar with the SMART rules and encourage an openness and a culture of trust that means pupils feel able to come to your staff if a problem emerges. 

 

Knowing what to do if there is a problem should be an important part of your education programme. They can report or block a person by going to their Facebook page or clicking on ‘report’ to the right of the name of the person sending the message. If it’s a photo that is causing the problem you can choose the option ‘report this photo’ by clicking on the photo on that person's page. 

 

Amongst all this risk assessment, warning and policing do try to be positive about social networking sites. They and their descendents are here to stay and are the darling of many. It’s not the time to just focus on the disadvantages and you might want to encourage discussion about ways in which Facebook can be beneficial and how your pupils might make good use of it. 

 

Related Articles

HTML

10 Golden Rules: Securing schools from social media threats

How can schools protect their pupils from being exposed to inappropriate, offensive or illegal material? Internet Security Analyst Simon Heron gives the ten golden rules for ensuring school security.
PDF

Picture the world

www.Rafi.ki is an international social networking site, like Facebook, for students and teachers. Teacher Sam Eyre shares how his students have used it to make new friends and spark ideas with kids from around the world.
spacer
PDF

Language learning in a virtual world (open access article)

The latest research from Ofcom suggests that in 2008, almost half of young people aged between 8 and 17 had a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook. Now enterprising teaching professionals are mimicking these social networking spaces to engage young people with learning languages.
Unknown Type

Kidsmart

An internet site with ideas for lessons, resources and information about all aspects of the internet and mobile use. It is aimed at children, teachers and parents.
spacer
Unknown Type

Think U know

You can report abuse on this site as well as access a wide range of resources, ideas and web pages aimed at young people and their teachers.
MS Word

Briefcase 5 - Chat Rooms

Acceptable use of ICT, internet and e-mail policy
spacer
PDF

Manager’s Briefcase 6

The internet can be viewed as both an asset and a hazard. Used correctly it has the potential  to  be  an  excellent  source  of  information  and  efficient means  of communication. It can also be extremely harmful where it becomes a tool for bullying, extortion or misrepresentation. To use it properly and safely requires a number of skills and a level of awareness. The following are some key pointers to help children acquire these.
MS Word

Establishing Safe And Responsible Online Behaviours

In 2005, Becta published E-safety: developing whole-school policies to support effective practice, which provided guidance for schools on developing appropriate policies and procedures to ensure safe use of the internet by the children and young people in their care. This document is a reflection of current approaches to e-safety, and in particular, the role played by Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) in maintaining safe behaviours online. Folder: Leadership Briefings Issue 4.01 (37)
spacer
spacer
spacer