Conversations with Parents about Facebook and Social Networking

Conversations with Parents about Facebook and Social Networking

For a great article about how to engage in a conversation about Cybersafety with parents, for parents, read Kevin Jarrett's blog post.

As Bob Sprankle and I get ready to meet with parents tonight ( and after reading Kevin's post) I am reminded of the conversation I had with an elementary school principal as we welcomed our Kindergarten class, the future Graduating Class of 2022. Whew!( Well, we are after all 10 years into the 21st Century.) I suggested that we may want to include messages to our parents through Twitter or Facebook. So, the principal surveyed the incoming parents. Maybe the parents were shocked, surprised or didn't believe the survey, but only two parents out of 50 answered positively about including messages on Facebook.The rest of the 40 parents wanted messages from the school to come through email. The remainder reported that they wanted messages to be found on a website. The results surprised me. I thought that since many of our parents were already familiar with Facebook that they would welcome one less place to click while checking for messages from school.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by alancleaver_2000

Fast forward to another survey that Bob sent out this winter. He asked parents if they were interested in having technology mini workshops and they responded yes! While digging a little deeper into the information, we decided upon a workshop about Facebook and privacy settings and how to set up and manage an account. The elementary school parents are planning ahead and preparing for their students entering the pre-teen and teen years and how to supervise and support student learning in a social network.

So this evening, we will open up our filter, get parents on facebook, check out the filter and privacy settings and have some great conversations with beginners and expert facebook users.Our hope is that we will create a network of parents, supporting other parents, and parents who understand how to create a safe social network for their own children.

Resources for our Facebook evening:

For an ongoing conversation about Parent Issues, check out Parents As Partners at EdTechTalk with Matt Montange and Lorna Costantini.

Jeff Utecht a post about Facebook Privacy and Cyberbullying and another about Social Networking for Parents.
Common Sense Media , a fan favorite, Facebook for Parents.

Time Magazine Article

How are you engaging parents in these important discussions? Please share.