At a recent principals' meeting in our district, I was asked to prepare a short training on Facebook just for them.
We've done what I think is a fairly good job of informing teachers in our district about the benefits and concerns over using Facebook both professionally and personally. We've written a set of social network guidelines which led to a board policy.
But what, specifically, should building administrators understand and be able to do when it comes to Facebook? My sense is that the bulk of what most older adults, including principals, hear about this popular site is negative. Yet its importance and use/usefulness in both society and the schools is growing.
How then, might a workshop provide a "fair and balanced" look at social networking and give building principals some ideas about how to harness the power of these tools.
Here is my broad outline:
Part One: Social networking - what it is, who uses it, and how it's used - even if I don't "get it," why I need to know about it
Resource: The Social Media Revolution (Socialnomics)
Part Two: A Guide to Facebook - evil incarnate or a tool for world peace or something in the middle? Does it have a place in your school?
Resources: Facebook for Parents (Common Sense Media), A Parent's Guide to Facebook (ConnectSafely), Facebook Scams You Need To Know About: The 9 Most Common Hacks And Attacks (Huff Post Tech), 2011 Facebook Statistics (MyCorporateMedia.com)
Part Three: How can and how should your classroom teachers use Facebook? what guidelines are necessary? what are they actually doing?
Resources: Why social media tools have a place in the classroom (GigaCom), How teachers Facebook and Tweet for Students (NetFamilyNews), our district's board policy on social networking
Part Four: Using Facebook and its cousins to communicate with parents and the public - how do you set up a fan page? how do you know if people are reading?
Granted, this is a sketchy outline. I'd welcome other suggestions about what it's crucial fo building administrators to know about Facebook and social networking in general. Keep in mind, I'll be lucky to get an hour.