A Back-To-School Social Media Guide for Parents
Use social media and get your kids ready, informed and safe this school year
Did you click on this link while browsing Facebook or Twitter? If you did, then you understand that social media can be an important resource — beyond the latest memes or Instagram photos. In fact, you can even use it to benefit your child's education.
Hard to believe? Check out these tips for how to use social media to help kids with their homework, keep them safe and ensure you're up-to-date on everything happening in your school and district. There's a ton of information out there to help you and your child stay organized this school year, if you know where to look.
We hear you groaning. You've worked all day and then you get home and have to make meals and wrangle kids. Who has time to volunteer at their child's school or get to PTA meetings? But you could probably follow local school groups on Facebook and Twitter to get immediate updates and reminders. Look for these on Facebook or Twitter:
- Your child's school
- The school's PTA
- The School District
- The Board of Education
Teachers are getting social media savvy these days, too, and many classes or grade levels even have their own blog! If your child's teacher shares a link, be sure to subscribe to it or bookmark it.
Depending on your child's academic needs, think about how each social media platform might help you gather reading tips, math sheet printables or organization ideas.
Facebook: Unless your child is older than 13, Facebook may be more to your benefit than theirs. Consider following these great resources:
- Scholastic parents
- US Department of Education
- Stop Bullying.gov
- PBS Kids
- Center on Media and Child Health
Twitter: Parents on Twitter, we suggest that you create an education list. As you follow important educational resources, put them into the list and refer back to them as needed. Who should you follow? Start here: The Best Education Follows on Twitter. See who you like. If you like what they have to say, follow them, engage and add them to your list. But don't forget to search topics using hashtags! And for those, we suggest The 2012 A-Z List Of Educational Twitter Hashtags. Just try and not stay up-to-date on the latest tips and tricks in education.
Pinterest: If you're on Pinterest already, you may have already created a pin board for your favorite kid activities or recipes. Why not make a pin board for educational ideas and homework tips? To get you started, we found some great boards here:
Video Sharing: Don't forget that YouTube can be a fantastic resource for learning. Just be sure to supervise kids, especially younger ones, on the site. School Tube and Teacher Tube are both educational video sharing sites created by teachers and students.
Parents everywhere use social media to connect about their children with family and friends. As fun and easy as it can be, don't forget some social media safety "basics." Please consider the following tips:
- Don't post pictures of your child with your child's school name in the picture.
- Avoid checking in to your child's school or local playing fields on Foursquare or Facebook.
- Avoid sharing too many specifics about you or your child's routine on social media sites.
- Consider you and your child's privacy every time you post pictures or information on social sites.
Finally, be sure to check out these links about social media safety here:
- Parents Guide to Facebook
- Parents Guide to Twitter
- Advice for Parents: Social Networking Tips
- Facebook: Help for Parents and Educators
Do you have some back-to-school "must-follows" that you recommend? We want to hear about them! Post them in the comments below.