Three Reasons To Ditch Your Website and Move to Facebook

While at a state art education conference this winter, I heard a wise local art teacher speak about his migration from a classroom website to a Facebook page. After years of struggling to maintain a current and useful classroom website, this advice was music to my ears. In fact, I have given up on my website. Instead of trying to sporadically update a site that parents never visit, I am focusing my efforts on Facebook. Here is why…

1. Facebook is a passive news source, and people love being passive.

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Interested parents may check a classroom website or blog once a week, but that requires active interest… which is sometimes difficult to muster up. Most parents are already on Facebook several times a day, checking friends’ statuses and getting their news. When you update your classroom Facebook page with a post or a picture, it automatically pops into their news feed and they are much more likely to read the caption than if it had required a special trip to your site. Moving your classroom content updates to Facebook means people will view your information daily, as opposed to weekly or even more infrequently. Hey, you may have even linked into THIS article from Facebook!

2. It is faster and easier for you to maintain a classroom Facebook page.

Each time I updated my classroom website, it was agonizingly slow. I spent entirely too long writing content and making graphic design decisions that were probably only appreciated by a handful of people.

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Conversely, updating my classroom Facebook page takes literally two minutes a day. I use my phone to snap a picture of a project during class. I write a brief sentence about what we are learning (because Facebook posts are short, compared to a website), and I upload the update. Before, having a web presence took hours, now it is part of the natural rhythm of my day.

3. Facebook group pages offer detailed analytics.

So much of educational assessment is data driven, and it can be really difficult to quickly capture data about an art program. However, Facebook offers instantaneous and in-depth analytics about page traffic. If an administrator wants data to support a professional growth goal related to community engagement, Facebook can provide this. You can easily measure how many people view each type of post, whether it is a link, text, or a photo. Even better, you can track how these numbers change over time.

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Although I have only been using a classroom Facebook page for a couple months, I have already learned a few helpful hints and tricks…

  • Double check with your district before starting, to ensure you have accurate knowledge about their current social media policies.
  • When you open your classroom Facebook page, separate it from your personal account, so you remain professional.
  • Take photos of artwork and materials, not kids. You never know whose parents would prefer they don’t have an internet presence.
  • Promote your page through existing school pages. Ask your principal and PTO to mention your new page on their social media platforms so parents can find you faster.
  • If you will be using your phone, have a conversation with your administration. You don’t want them to walk in and assume the worst – that you are surfing Amazon in the middle of class!

And finally, don’t really give up on your classroom website; just shift its focus! A classroom website is still an invaluable tool for sharing an in-depth rationale of your curriculum and your educational philosophy.  When someone in the community wants substantial information about your program, you will still want to be able to direct them to your site. Streamline the general information on your site and plan to tweak it for accuracy on a semester basis. Then, save those daily and weekly updates for Facebook, where they will consistently be seen!

How do you use social media to promote your classroom?

What platforms have you found most effective for reaching your community?

Lindsey Moss

Lindsey Moss is an elementary art teacher in Yorkville, Illinois. She enjoys art history and finding creative and artistic solutions to educational challenges.

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  • Gabriela

    This sounds good to me the only concern I have is comments. Is that ever an issue?

    • Lindsey Moss

      Hi Gabriela, I think we emailed each other about this topic, but just in case…Thanks for reading! I have only been using Facebook for my classroom for a little while, and I haven’t encountered anything negative…yet. As the page admin, I am able to hover over individual comments and delete them, or even delete and block the user. I tend to check the page every day or two because it’s a pretty quick process. Up until this point, I’ve had nothing but really positive feedback (most parents hit “like”, I actually don’t get a ton of comments on every post). I hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Ani

    A great idea…wonder if I should try this for my regular ed classroom?

    • Lindsey Moss

      Hi Ani! I think it would work for any classroom!

  • Denise Tanaka

    I have Facebook, a blog, now Instagram….can’t keep up! Feel like you’re giving me permission to just do FB….and insta for the kids :) Thanks for a great post!

    • Flambe

      Most of our event posts or information posts are on Facebook but our daily quick photos are usually composed on Instagram (because filters!) however, we have linked our FB page to it so we just share the same photo on Facebook as well simultaneously. That makes it very easy!