How might we use Facebook closed group/community for mentoring and staying connected after high school

Create a closed Facebook group/com that doubles up as a study group as well as an alumni group for students and teachers to remain connected

Photo of Avnita Bir
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USING THE POWER OF SHARING THROUGH FACEBOOK BEYOND THE SOCIAL


Overview (What’s this idea about)

The idea was to use an existing platform that is popular with high school students and extend its use to stay connected with them after they graduated from high school. A solution that is: 

  • ubiquitous
  • instantaneous
  • collaborative
  • wide access
  • popular

Basic premise on which the idea is based:

Create a Facebook closed group/community for the outgoing class of high school students along with their teachers just before their final examinations. At the time students are generally very serious about their studies and distractions are minimum. However, chances are that most students would still be active on social media.


Benefits/Uses


  • Use the closed group/community as a study group for students. As they do self-study and consolidate their learning, they can use the facebook group for problem-solving. Peer to peer, teacher-student, anyone in the group is free to collaborate. Grade 12 teachers/professors can post questions, answers, sample papers. Students can post doubts as and when they study and get them cleared immediately. Collaborative group study at its best.


  • Since teachers and counsellors are also members of the community, even emotional and mental support can be provided.


  • Motivational posts can inspire students to keep up the effort.


  • Besides providing all kinds of timely support. the facebook group can also provide a forum for members to discuss other interests like sports, current happenings etc.


  • The facebook community can be used for providing career related guidance.


  • Results and admissions into colleges can be shared on the community as also important announcements, final placements of students etc.


  • Once students join university/colleges, the community serves as an alumni group for the school and can be used for sharing important information, advice, resources etc. It also serves as a forum for connecting with ex-students whenever one feels the need. Facebook being such an intuitive platform, is most easily accessible. The much needed connect between current and past students, teachers and students, school and students is easily created. The school can keep track of students’ progress through the years.


  • Add 'fun' elements like voting apps, survey forms etc. to keep the engagement on the group going. These could be for voting students based on categories or carrying out surveys about popular shows that appeal to students, contests for students and teachers, campaigns for causes, celebrations of festivals etc.


  • Keep the interest in the community going by encouraging members to share appropriate content that would bring them to the community regularly. Content could be related to debates and discussions around interesting current news, college related alerts that would be useful especially about admissions, courses, professors etc. The task of scheduling and facilitation of discussions could be assigned to any member who volunteers. Students could be given ownership in rotation so that there is more buy in from their side. Announcement of important dates, planning reunions (time, date, venue, participation, agenda etc) can be made easier.


Potential Impact (Why is this an idea that promotes continued growth?)

The idea can provide a free and easy solution for students and school to remain connected and since facebook is a popular platform and has the most instantaneous stimuli-feedback-response mechanism, it will get acceptance across the board.

For large schools, keeping student alumni data is a big challenge. Since almost every student has a facebook account, the idea is based on the premise that communication with the large data base can be made easily, instantaneously and with impact.


Value Proposition

  • Schools and educators have to get familiar with, get into and accept the world in which their students operate. There is immense potential and value in using technology that our children use intuitively, effortlessly and ubiquitously. Facebook has provided us that opportunity to keep in touch with our students for life. With a simple post on each facebook group of every outgoing class can keep you in touch with every ex-student of your school.


  • Use the Facebook community for adding perspective to people’s minds. And realise that it’s all right to use the medium if we have the checks and balances. Also we can use the platform to educate members to be responsible and literate about the use of social media.


  • Use the forum to build trust, human values and a wide and balanced outlook and perspective towards life.


  • Integrate the positive impact of technology in constructive ways to improve communication, collaboration through trust, sharing and human connect.



How do I get this idea off the ground?

  1. Encourage teachers to start a facebook account, add friends and see how quickly they begin to share with their friends. Gradually they will shed their inhibitions and begin to interact.
  2. Start a facebook group for a particular high school class. Add a few students who are on your friend list and ask them to invite their friends from the class.
  3. Use the facebook closed group/community itself to initiate a discussion on the use of the facebook group/community as a way to remain connected. A debate on whether students and teachers should be on the same page. Teachers and counsellors moderate the discussion and let reservations about the idea melt and gradually disappear.
  4. Educate the moderators about privacy settings, reading the fine print, remaining updated about the latest developments, at the granular level, being vigilant.
  5. The moderator should host a session on privacy, safety and the code of conduct while using the medium especially with respect to women and child safety.
  6. Create a structure around the posts so that Search is made easier and faster.



Engagement

Keeping teachers and students engaged by adding fun elements through apps, surveys, contests, sharing of engaging content that is relevant, timely and of interest to members, sharing greetings on important days, information about interesting events taking place in different parts of the world, sharing experiences, planning reunions,  etc.

Content shared in the community will be the most critical factor for engagement. It should be relevant, timely, relating to sharing about careers/interests/common experiences like memories of school days, professors, birthdays and other milestones etc.

Example of what could go into content: e.g  Recommend.ly app

http://www.slideshare.net/jaideepbir/recommendly


Way Forward

In order to make the idea more robust and purposeful, we hope that through Teacher’s Guild Reach Higher project, we can direct Facebook’s attention to the use of “Facebook for Education”  and thereby add some features that are more focussed on the needs of schools, teachers and students.

Schools that have done pilots around the idea can be used as case studies. Get schools on board and then use Cross-pollination between schools to make the format student-teacher-school friendly.

More specifically, we would want Facebook to help us on the following:

  1. A better Search engine that can help to archive, save, search for information with ease. Data mining is a challenge if one has to get information too much in the past.
  2. Help categorise and organise information in the community.
  3.  Train school teachers on creating apps that they can use for engagement. 

https://goo.gl/XoRzER

https://goo.gl/VuapzP

http://goo.gl/J2XIX4

https://goo.gl/yh93DA

Have a doc or slides that you're collaborating in? Link it here.

https://goo.gl/XoRzER

https://goo.gl/VuapzP

http://goo.gl/J2XIX4

https://goo.gl/yh93DA

https://goo.gl/XNpgyz

https://goo.gl/nrAQEA

https://goo.gl/Co6NH3

https://goo.gl/MUCo3T

Evaluation results

68 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love this idea! - 100%

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Team (30)

Jessica's profile
Jessica Lura

Role added on team:

"Coach"

Emma's profile
Emma Scripps

Role added on team:

"Mentor"

Avnita's profile
Ajit's profile
Ajit Nair

Role added on team:

"Alumnus and teacher-colleague"

Rupinder's profile
Rupinder Sahni

Role added on team:

"Teacher, Trainer, colleague"

Lohit's profile
Lohit Sahu

Role added on team:

"Education innovator"

Rashmi's profile
Rashmi Rukhaiyar

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer-colleague"

Pooja's profile
Pooja Bhasin

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer-colleague"

Ankita's profile
Ankita Misra

Role added on team:

"High school student"

Neha's profile
Neha Raizada

Role added on team:

"Teacher-colleague"

Shilpa's profile
Shilpa Pathak

Role added on team:

"Career Counsellor"

Nitika's profile
Nitika Bajaj

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Administrator-colleague"

Avnita's profile
Suman's profile
Suman Samarth

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Administrator-colleague"

Nita's profile
Nita Chandra

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Administrator-colleague"

Trishit's profile
Trishit Banerjee

Role added on team:

"Student"

Nagaraj's profile
Nagaraj Kamble

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer-colleague"

Neelam's profile
Neelam Kumar

Role added on team:

"Life Skills coach, Counsellor"

Sushmita's profile
Sushmita Mathur

Role added on team:

"Teacher-colleague"

Amruta's profile
Amruta Thomare

Role added on team:

"Teacher-colleague"

Puja's profile
Puja Kaura

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer-colleague"

Rbs's profile
Rbs Bir

Role added on team:

"Parent"

Shubha Jain's profile
Shubha Jain

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer"

Maya Menon's profile
Maya Menon

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer"

Vinamrata's profile
Vinamrata Borwankar

Role added on team:

"Journalist"

Latika's profile
Latika Dua

Role added on team:

"External stakeholder"

Sanjaria's profile
Sanjaria Khurana

Role added on team:

"External stakeholder"

Soham's profile
Soham Sanyal

Role added on team:

"Alumnus"

Pooja's profile
Pooja Bhasin

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer-colleague"

Rashmi's profile
Rashmi Kathuria

Role added on team:

"Teacher-Trainer"

37 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

One of the most collaborative and innovative design thinking exercise I have participated in. Thank you The Teachers Guild for this unique experience of is discovering, ideating, collaborating and crowdsourcing some really brilliant thoughts from passionate educators. A very rich repertoire of ideas has been created for us to use in the future. Thank you Jessica Lura , Emma Scripps , the Facebook team that encouraged me and gave me suggestions. Thanks to my team of students, teachers, parents and counsellors whose reassuring belief in the idea was our driving force. That we are all on one page to help our children plan their future. 

Photo of Beth Pocius
Team

Great to leverage use of social media with such a social generation. In the end, it's about building relationships, and this will help nurture meaningful connections!  

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Thank you Beth Pocius for your encouragement. I agree that education is all about nurturing multiple relationships between  all stakeholders. And this idea of a closed safe online community has really helped do that. 

Photo of Soham Sanyal
Team

I support this as an alumnus, it's great to watch the school leverage social media as a tool for engagement in academic and co-curricular activities. Wishing the team the best.

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

As an alumnus I remember how you had collaborated with and mentored another high school student through the Facebook community to create the school's wiki page. That was a huge win- win for all stakeholders and an exemplar of how the community could work towards collaborative proble- solving. Thank you for validating Soham Sanyal .

Photo of Priyanka
Team

Ma'am this is indeed an idea which has worked for us perfectly. Students feel free to post their ideas and voice their concerns freely. When many teachers are not comfortable sharing their personal phone numbers with students. We at R.N Podar are friends with so many students of face book. It definitely helps us in knowing our students better. I happened to come across a poem written and posted by one of our students who we thought was good at science but his inclination towards creative expression was a surprise and was much appreciated by all. Also a connect with the school alumni keeps the warmth in student-teacher relationship alive.

Photo of Maya Menon
Team

Avnita - I completely support this idea. It has tremendous possibilities!
About 3 years ago The Teacher Foundation had done research on use of social media for professional development of teachers in India and it was published in a compilation of CPD practices brought out by the British Council

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Maya Menon  this is so encouraging. Would love to get a copy of the research report. I think it would benefit many schools and educators. Look forward to taking this conversation forward. Our experience too has been extremely positive . Maybe a case study would help spread the idea. Thank you for your contribution. 

Photo of Maya Menon
Team

The hard copies of the books are available for free from British Council. Alternatively here is an online downloadable version. The chapter I contributed to is on pgs 80-87 :-) https://www.britishcouncil.in/sites/default/files/continuing_professional_develpoment_-_lessons_from_india.pdf

Photo of Nagaraj Kamble
Team

Quite recently one of our alumni wrote to me. The same student who was an introvert , didn't speak much... used Facebook to get in touch with me... She inquired fondly about her teachers, coordinators and shared how much she missed school. Email id's for teachers or students may get defunct, when students graduate or when they move to another city leaving the school, but facebook account remains... Many teachers of our school who had to move to another cities due to transfers or students for that matter, are still very much in touch through Facebook and our groups like 'Drihtikone.' Where they share their views and ideas.

Here I would also like to attract attention to the fact that... For some kids it might not be that easy to express themselves in front of everyone especially to start with. .. but they are pretty good at it when it comes to Facebook. Some might not be very good at saying things vocally but they can write well... I have had students ask a question about topic in the class or beyond that... which struck them at home they were curious to know the answer. I have had students ask quesions on facebook, where as in the class the child normally keeps it to himself/hersefl. we have seen all these things happen over years with our groups... and how much that has helped each one of them. A group like 'Drihtikone' which itself translates to 'perspective' has been doing world of good, in continuing dialogue, creating awareness, bonding, perspective building, collaboration... We not only have current students and teachers expressing their opinions on a topic but even alumni, experts, parents, ex teachers and so on...

Facebook-the platform by nature is collaborative in itself... and that works well with us, that is the basis of growth of humanity... :-)

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Nagaraj Kamble thank you for sharing this narrative. 

Photo of Pooja Bhasin
Team

Ma'am, Its a brilliant flash of insight which is beautifully articulated and presented .Just love the way we use this platform as an instructional tool and the experiences we encounter by utilizing this network socially and academically are profound. As explained by you, this environment not only supports communication but also improves students cognitive, social and critical thinking skills. What a convenience of reaching out to students/colleagues ,you don't get to see or meet everyday and a single click on the "Like" button definitely creates connection between people.  More power to this idea and so want to see this creative thought come to life. 

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Yes Pooja Bhasin when you can reach out to students across the globe through a platform with just a click of the mouse, all in real time, it can have far reaching impact. 
Technilogy if used constructively and creatively, can be a huge enabler. Thank you for your feedback. 

Photo of Puja Kaura
Team

If I may say so ma'am, the idea has been presented very comprehensively and lucidly. I remember the first such group I was part of was the grade 8 batch of 2010-2011. As you have explained, the sustainibility of the group depends on its relevance.

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

And if we get more support from Facebook, perhaps one day we will have Facebook For Education just like Google For Education. Much more instantaneous and appealing to students. Thank you for believing in the idea Puja Kaura 

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

I have never experienced this kind of real-time response from all stakeholders using the power of FB beyond the social. Imagine the immense possibilities that it opens up. With just a click of the mouse. 

Photo of Rashmi Kathuria
Team

Avnita Bir Indeed a great idea. Quite practical and doable. I believe if we use the available technology in a right way we can empower each stakeholder in education. I saw the presentation. You have expressed the idea very clearly and it is beautifully presented. 

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Rashmi Kathuria I knew this would resonate with you. Have seen you bringing the most innovative thoughts to life and am looking forward to your inputs. Thank you for supporting this.

Photo of Rupinder Sahni
Team

Social Networking sites have immense benefits. Through Facebook one can forever stay connected with their students. The rapport between students and teachers will not be disturbed even when students move out of High School. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful thought with us!

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Team many thanks for the support. It's my aspiration that some day Facebook for Education becomes a reality. Please do evaluate and vote. 
Many thanks to our coach, Jessica Lura  and also  Emma Scripps for the support. 

Photo of Jessica Lura
Team

Avnita,
You have done a fabulous job of making this idea come to life. Great job!

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Thank you Jessica Lura for that encouragement and all the support you have extended. It's an idea very close to my heart and I have tried it with my students, trs and counsellors. Am getting so much support from them too. There's a strong belief in there. Keeping fingers crossed that Facebook will take it up to give it teeth. Great potential. 

Photo of Shilpa Pathak
Team

As School Counsellor, I have often found the need to communicate an important piece of information to our students and have found the Facebook page a very efficient and timely tool to use. This platform is direct and instantaneous. It has also helped and is still helping our students remain connected with their batch mates, friends, teachers which gives them feel a sense of belonging to the school. Through our Alumni groups, we can still remain a part of their on-going journey and take pride in their accomplishments.
Facebook is all about "Connection".

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Thank you Shilpa Pathak for your feedback as the school career counsellor. 

Photo of Shilpa Pathak
Team

It's a pleasure Ma'am and excited to be a part of the team. 

Photo of Nitika Bajaj
Team

In today's dynamic times social media plays an instrumental role in shaping perspective. Apart from being the most illustrious networking site, Facebook can be used as a powerful tool for Educating. Students learn willingly given an unfettered,  unstructured platform. 

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Thank you for the feedback Nitika Bajaj 

Photo of Neha Raizada
Team

The Facebook page has proved to be an extremely empowering platform for us as teachers have successfully connected with students when they require the handholding most. As teachers we must keep up with time and today it is imperative to use the virtual platforms to facilitate teaching and learning. Cheers and more power to this organic and judicious progression!

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Neha Raizada can you validate the idea by going to select the favorites and evaluate the idea. It would help to gain strength and attention.

Photo of Neha Raizada
Team

Sure ma'am! My pleasure.

Photo of Ankita Misra
Team

Ma'am, it's just like we read in the chapter 'On Education' in our English curriculum. The teachers have a wonderful platform to create a safe environment for students to allow themselves to take risks, push themselves to think beyond and catch a whiff of the same passion for learning that our teachers exude. When we take learning from the classroom to the Internet and Social Media, we experience a different kind of joy. Our own minds beg us to be curious and explore more- as the age-old adage says, "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Absolutely 

Photo of Ankita Misra
Team

As a student that has enormously benefitted because of this idea, a thoughtful student-friendly symbiotic relationship between students, teachers and our ever-encouraging role model Principal took the words "Collaborative Learning" to a whole new level. It worked, it helped and it gave us another reason to not deactivate our Facebook accounts temporarily, as they were now benefitting us tremendously AND we were having fun whilst solving doubts and getting our doubts solved. It helped us learn not only as individual students, but as a student body, also helping us inculcate values of teamwork and confidence. We have truly never felt closer to our teachers, the connection was not just virtual- it was so much more. A huge shout out for this idea- it is beneficial, it works and it's immense fun. Thank you for the lovely ride :)

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

Ankita when ideas emanate from from a felt need or sometimes even a dormant need of a user , and grow organically, with feedback, repeated iterations, adjustments made along the way, they turn out quite successful. I am hoping that we can take this idea to the next level with more structure etc. with the help of Facebook. It's been fun fleshing it out so far. Please do join in by evaluating and voting Ankita Misra 

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sP8sTvaeacUdvTbCyw0XlomJnzFotBHTvi5ieBqe04Q/edit?usp=sharing

Photo of Jessica Lura
Team

Thanks for the video--it helped me visual the idea.  It seems like using the group really made a difference for your students.

Photo of Avnita Bir
Team

We have created similar Facebook groups for all the outgoing batches of Class 12. These are created as study groups before the final examination and then double up as alumni group for the class thereafter.