Does Your Classroom Need a Web Page?

The Question:
Has anyone made a Facebook page for their classrooms? I don’t want it linked to my personal page, but I can see the value in getting classroom information to the parents in the best way.
The Answers:
Cassandra Ewert-Lamutt
 FB is difficult, IMO, because of the privacy issue. I thought about doing something similar and decided against it because I would see all sorts of things I don’t want to see from student and parent pages. I think you are better off going with a page attached to your school website or a Google site or something where they can come and see info and post questions.
Meghan Schmidt
 Our PTO has one but I’ve never seen a teacher do one. I’d like to know if it’s a good idea as well.
Jolene Dambeck Sosnowski 
Shelly Funk Ellermeier 
I have a blog, well, I am working on a blog with the help of a very nice teacher who knows way more than I do about blogs. I think FB pages for school may not be the best choice. A blog can be password protected, not sure about a FB page.
Kasey Mathers Swenson 
At my school we have one for the school, PTO and lots of classrooms have one as well. It is a great tool and parents love it. You can create a page for parents to ‘like’ instead of friending you specifically. It was very simple and a great tool.
Amanda Johnson 
Shutterfly is awesome !
Lisa Beauregard Walthall
Try edmodo.com. designed for teachers, students, and parents. It has some very cool features, like classroom polls (or quizzes).
Karen Burnat
 I use email. All of my parents have email and I send pretty much everything using this….homework packets, news, articles, etc. It’s quick, easy, and parents like it very much because pretty much everyone has their phone with them at all times. Even if it’s a class FB page, I wouldn’t do it. Our union has warned against any Facebook contact. You then have access to their personal pages. Too much intimacy in a professional setting.
Miss Bindergarten
 You CAN start a Facebook ‘Group’ instead… This is invitation only and can be tightly controlled for content.
Regan Sullivan 
I have one and I love it. The parents already know how to use Facebook and they check it regularly. I found a Facebook permission slip on TPT and used that to get permission. I upload pictures almost everyday! Its under my Facebook account but it’s not linked to my personal Facebook. Anything I post on my class page posts as Mrs. Sullivan.  I guess it’s a called a group. They aren’t friends with the page the just “like” it and that’s how they get connected to it.
Kelly Robb Moras 
Try Schoology. Its set up just like Facebook, but it’s meant to be for students, teachers, and parents. Our school uses it and it’s great! Easy to upload pictures and write updates.
Ashlee Gibson
 Remind101 is great! Parents can sign up for text alerts! Its fabulous!
Patti Karamas Ramstine
 Like Karen, our union has warned us against using email because anything one puts in writing can later be used in a court case if a parent sues the school system. Also, time is a factor… When do you answer email… On your own time, right?
I urge parents to write a note or phone and I can get back to them during the school day. I try to keep them informed about what’s going on in the room… Not as much fun as being able to post pictures, I know.
Shelley Rice Damron
 I love Shutterfly!
Erica Holloway
 I use email for updates and other parent communications, but I copy my principal on anything I send or reply to.
Mishelle Smith Kiehl
 Shutterfly too!!! Just started using it this year. Love it!!! I think it is made for schools.
Melissa Mullin Beykirch
 I created a separate Facebook page. This way parents can not see anything from my personal page. Not that I post anything that matters, but it also keeps parents from friending me personally. I love it and have had one for several years now.
Becky Couch Gutierrez 
Your school can get a one time scholarship if enough classrooms register for shutterfly!
Lisa Marie Haboush
 We use www.cmomgo.com. It’s completely private and free. Not everyone is on Facebook.
Nancy Carr Dunnagan
I would not recommend Facebook. I would use Shutterfly and create a class website, and only invited members can view information.
Peggy Langley Alexander 
I have recently learned about edmoto.com. It works like Facebook, but is more private. From what I understand, each student has to have a password from the teacher in order to access the class site.
Christa Brown Brubaker 
I have a shutterfly share site and love it. Quick and easy to use.
Jennifer Thompson
 Edmoto is awesome.. It’s just like Facebook for educators.. Kids can also link up and you can post homework etc.. Check that..
Melissa Elizabeth Baum 
Thank you everyone for your opinions and advice. I ended up making a separate facebook page. So far parents are loving it and my principal is too! I teach in a very urban area in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Most of our parents do not have email access or phone numbers that are consistent. They do all manage to keep up on their facebook pages. I didn’t think they would check a blog or specialty sites as they hardly check homework folders. I went with something they already use and it is working out great!
Cindy Brunmeier-Simonsen 
This takes time, and time is what I never have enough of with sonny assessments to record, regroup, and to prepare stellar lessons: whole group, small group, and individual.
So many things added to our work day and not any taken out.
If you do, keep it simplistic and attached to your school website. I do A weekly newsletter anyway so then I just attach it to My web page. Every now and then I add some pictures and other such as words to read and Sight words. But that’s not regular. I need to spend time developing lessons that count, not uploading pictures and maintaining  blogs.
Nancy Carr Dunnagan
 That makes sense. At the end of the day, teachers need to reach out to their families the best way they can.
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