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New How-To Guide for Using Facebook in the Classroom

Commissioned by Facebook, an education think tank in the United Kingdom recently created a "Facebook Guide for Educators."

As of May 2013, 1.1 billion people worldwide are using Facebook, making the social network "rich with potential for learning," states the guide by The Education Foundation.

The 20-page manual outlines the functions Facebook allows and how educators can tailor them for their own classrooms. For example, teachers can use Facebook Groups to communicate with parents. They can share information about an upcoming school trip or staff contact details. Students can also use group pages to collaborate on projects, post research, and share ideas, videos, or resources.

Acknowledging that Facebook poses privacy challenges, the guide provides an appendix that includes relevant information about how to modify settings. For instance, it shows how to use the "activity log" to select what audience can see a particular image.

As Education Week has reported, many teachers are already using social networks in their classes—including lesser-known ones that are viewed as having more protections for students. And many parents see their kids' social-media use as beneficial.

Teachers, have you used Facebook in the classroom? What are your thoughts on the new Facebook guide?

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