Quickie: Facebook Page Changes

Over the next week or so Facebook Pages will be changing in how they’re laid layout.

Your school apps showing the Welcome page, Media Channel and so on will be displayed on the left of the screen as you can see below instead of across the top.  So, no great shakes but keep an eye out for the change.  You shouldn’t be negatively impacted by it at all 🙂


Video: A Head Teacher's Journey with Facebook

If this YouTube is blocked for your school please watch another version lower down the page.

Clare Berryman, Head of the first ever school we collaborated with to harness Facebook for parental engagement, told her story at a conference and here it is – much overdue but better shared late than never!  Enjoy.

Non-YouTube Video

From the day’s agenda blurb:

Clare has a proven and recognised track record of innovation including the creation of a ‘much observed’ new school curriculum design. She is a Leader of Education with the National College and provides CPD and support within Lancashire authority on creative approaches to the curriculum and personalised learning. Clare is no technical expert but recognised long ago that if the school was to engage with parents early on in the relationship then social media was the right tool for the task; particularly Facebook. Clare is shortly to have her children making apps for and in the school and is looking forward to seeing the learning that will come from this.

Just keep swimming!

I was just replying to a Head Teacher’s question the other day and caught myself talking nonsense about fishing.  It seemed to fit the context of my email but let’s see if it travels.

As a little boy fishing on Bradshaw Brook in Bolton I clearly remember virtually praying I wasn’t going to catch a fish because if I did, well, I’d have to handle it.  Slimy, a bit smelly and frequently difficult to handle was my early experience.

I’m not deliberately making any connection to the physicality of engaging with parents via Facebook as a school but I’m sure you get my gist.  As tricky as it might seem you’ve got a real opportunity to engage parents and it’s a good idea to have some thoughts about how you’re going to get them into your net without a massive struggle and making too many waves.

There are always options

  1. make the net an attractive and comfortable place to be – there’s always going to be resistance from some to a change in direction or strategy when it comes to communication
  2. keep on course with a variety of updates and content additions that have added value because of their timeliness – add new online safety videos to our media tab; promote a community event; invite trusted local business to profile a special offer per month to parents.
  3. bring them on board as a content manager for the wall perhaps if they’re a trusted PTA or parent governor for a term then rotate and let someone else have a go as well as the regular page admin updates (careful thought here of course)

It seems that you know you’ve cracked it when Facebook is nothing special anymore.  It’s just another channel that has taken work away from the website and photocopier and made more solution focused conversation in the open waters a more regular event.  If you’ve found any strategies for manoeuvring your parent school community closer to a transformation using Facebook then do post a comment I’d love to hear about it.

As Dory said: “Just keep swimming!”

Footnote: See the Transtheoretical Model for more on ‘changes in behaviour’

This post contains many nautical references – feel free to count – there is no prize except a sense of well-being that comes from just knowing something :o)