Last updated: 15.08.13

Facebook launches guide on educational benefits of social media

Facebook has introduced a digital guide for teachers detailing how they can use social media to enhance classroom learning.

The publication - entitled the Guide for Educators - has been released alongside the Education Foundation and is looking to overcome the barriers teachers might be facing to using Facebook and similar platforms as educational tools, reports the Telegraph.

It claims to offer insight and practical advice into "how social media can support traditional classroom learning, enable 'out of hours' social group learning, facilitate communication between educators, students and parents - and enhance digital skills and citizenship".

The guide advises that teachers use Facebook's Timeline feature to organise projects, set up Groups to share resources and arrange Events ahead of deadlines and examinations. Language students will also benefit, as they can use the website to interact with pupils at schools overseas and make faster progress.

What's more, teachers can set up posts so that they can be reviewed before they appear online - and they don't have to be friends with pupils on Facebook to talk to them in the dedicated Groups.

A statement on Facebook explains the social media network can be used as a way to "inspire pupils" using a tool they already like and are familiar with, plus it can "bring life" to teachers' subject material.

The same is also true of businesses looking to refresh the way they train employees - by turning to an engaging and popular method of communication such as social media, it is likely that staff will be more alert and interested in learning through the medium.

Indeed, Andrew Gee, one of the organisers of the forthcoming World of Learning Conference and Exhibition, recently claimed that social media is set to become increasingly integral to the future of many companies' learning and development strategies by 2015.

Employers may want to consider incorporating channels such as Facebook and Twitter into their e-learning strategies, or implementing social elements into Learning Management Systems to make the experience of carrying administrative duties and looking up training materials online more interactive and stimulating.