Every Teacher’s Must-Have Guide To Facebook

You can’t swing a stick in social media without hitting something on Facebook. Same goes for education. You can’t talk about how technology is revolutionizing education without mentioning Facebook. It’s a simple service to figure out but what about once you become a regular user?

If you’re a teacher, you would be well served by spending 3 minutes to read through this must-have guide. (We timed it out and it’s a bit under 3 minutes. It’s almost summertime, you can spare it for us!)

Don’t start scrolling down just yet!

Here’s how it works: there is a plethora of information on the Internet that can be useful for teachers but why search around when you can rely on EduDemic to do the digging for you. Know of another resource we don’t have here? Let us know on Twitter by including @edudemic in your tweet or on our Facebook page here. After all, we said this would just take 3 minutes to read, remember? That being said, let’s begin:

How To Set Up & Use Facebook

We are big fans of Scribd and were excited to see that Bernadette Rego created this fantastic Facebook setup guide with a teacher-centric focus.


How Teachers SHOULD & SHOULDN’T Use Facebook

Download this infographic in PDF form

The Types of People To Avoid On Facebook

Source: CNN

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. “I’m waking up.” “I had Wheaties for breakfast.” “I’m bored at work.” “I’m stuck in traffic.” You’re kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn’t mean we all want to know when you’re waiting for the bus.

The Self-Promoter. OK, so we’ve probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.

The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies — you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway — might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 “friends?” Unless you’re George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That’s just showing off.

The Town Crier. “Michael Jackson is dead!!!” You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.

The TMIer. “Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids.” Boundaries of privacy and decorum don’t seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.

The Bad Grammarian. “So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe”. Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.

The Sympathy-Baiter. “Barbara is feeling sad today.” “Man, am I glad that’s over.” “Jim could really use some good news about now.” Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks — baited with vague tales of woe — in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.

The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you’ll be talking to them and they’ll mention something you posted, so you know they’re on your page, hiding in the shadows. It’s just a little creepy.

The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn’t complain about. “Carl isn’t really that impressed with idiots who don’t realize how idiotic they are.” [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.

The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone’s posted a photo of you from last weekend’s party — a photo you didn’t authorize and haven’t even seen? You’d really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.

The Obscurist. “If not now then when?” “You’ll see…” “Grist for the mill.” “John is, small world.” “Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not.” [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you’re not being mysterious — just nonsensical.

The Chronic Inviter. “Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which ‘Star Trek’ character are you? Here are the ‘Top 5 cars I have personally owned.’ Here are ’25 Things About Me.’ Here’s a drink. What drink are you? We’re related! I took the ‘What President Are You?’ quiz and found out I’m Millard Fillmore! What president are you?”

Important Resources & Recent News

Open Questions For You

What do you think about teachers using Facebook? Are both students and teachers responsible for online interaction? Should teachers create two accounts (one private, one for just students)?

Let us know what you think the comments and, fittingly, on our Facebook page.


  1. Burcu Büyü

    June 12, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I totally agree with the should -dos. I generally add my students under students group and only allow them to see the pictures and info related to their school and education.

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  3. Bethany Smith

    June 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    danah boyd had an interesting recommendation when I got a chance to ask her about the role of Facebook in the classroom. She advised teachers to have two Facebook accounts – one for private use with peers and another professional one for use with students. I think this may give teachers the best of both worlds.

    • Peter Kupfer

      July 2, 2010 at 2:51 am

      It is against the Facebook policies to have two personal profiles. (ie You can't make two if you follow their rules.) The better option is to make a fan page for your classroom.

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  11. Lisa Nielsen

    June 30, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post. I'm so impressed that a leader such as yourself is providing guidelines to educators on this topic. Thank you.

    As an educator using Facebook, I'd like to share another perspective on a few of the Don't's.

    2) Don't discuss anything not education-related.
    -Disagree. As adults we have an opportunity to serve as role models for other adults and students and we are more rounded then just our jobs. We should be modeling how a responsible adult interacts online and that means we discuss things other than our jobs.
    6) Don't play Farmville
    Who cares if I play Farmville. I might learn something about crops and the environment. There's nothing wrong with having a diversion and there's something to be said for having control over how you spend your free time. As an aside, I see a lot of ed value in Farmville as well as a lot of personality identification/connection through the game.
    7) Don't chat with students during non-office hours
    I don't get this. Chatting with students is something that educators should be doing during office hours and those who go above and beyond do so outside of these hours. I'd reverse this and say, encourage dialogue with students during office hours.

    Thanks for launching the conversation and providing food for thought and a place to share reactions!

  12. Lisa Nielsen

    June 30, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Clarifying misunderstanding in the above comment. A PLN colleague tweeted that this was the blog he started his superintendent with. I understood that to mean it was his superintendent's blog. After I clicked beyond the post I realized this was the blog he used to inspire his superintendent.

    Hope this clarifies my comment above about being impressed that a leader would share this post. I would absolutely be impressed if a leader did write this post. However, now that I realize that's not the case, I'm still impressed by the post, and hope that leaders who read it, might comment and share their own ideas.

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  14. David Mach

    August 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I am happy to see we are both teachers who believe in embracing technology to enhance the education of our students.

    However, I am growing more and more concerned about helping educators protect themselves, their students, and their careers by CAREFULLY monitoring what they post online. This is especially true after reading an article by the CEO of Google voicing his fear for the FaceBook generation http://tinyurl.com/2djvmzh. Yikes!

    I believe your readers might benefit from reading “Ten Commandments for Teachers on the Web” http://tinyurl.com/23why4b

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    December 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm


    i want teach with any subject

    This is my co…. no. 9956357380

  21. @CreativeEdu

    December 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

    A really good and through guide which picks up on some issues that I've not seen highlighted elsewhere.

    I highlighted your post in my Daily Digest of Education related blogs today as I thought other teachers would find it of interest. You can see it here: http://ow.ly/3kr11

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  24. Chaviva G

    December 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    My advice? Create a "fan page" as a teacher — having two accounts is against the Terms of Service. If you set up a Page devoted to your "teacher" personality, then students can't access your personal profile or information because it all shows up as from the Page. You can post comments, assignments, pictures, videos, you name it, but your life stays private on your personal profile.

    Also: Schoology.com

  25. hirdt

    December 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Meh. My teachers have some family photos and photos of them drinking at family parties and whatnot, as well as some miscellaneous stuff. Their pages are simultaneously personal and professional. Not really a big deal, unless your school specifically has policies that say you cannot do x or else you'll get fired.

  26. grannietech21

    January 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    This is the granny part of me coming out I guess. I have to admit I love all the new technology and understand the fascination and social connection, not to mention ability to discuss and learn new things. However, I just don't see much point in "publishing" ANYTHING (either publicly or privately) over an online network that I would not want everyone to know. I quite understand trying to look cool and cute to your friends and letting them know what is going on in your life…but sometimes I feel users constantly cross the line between being interesting and egotistical, appropriate and inappropriate.

    This article seems to point out that as long as we are teachers and are interacting with our students as teachers, whether it is on campus or off, we should model appropriate behavior. If your Facebook page contains items which you normally would not disclose or discuss with a student, then find another way to interact with them. The idea of a "fan page" is a good solution. Just remember that your interaction still is between a teacher/student-adult/child. Be the teacher/mentor/friend who cares, but at some point you still have a major responsibility to model appropriate behavior. In the long run, they will respect you a lot more for it.

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  28. Kyle

    January 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    The Only Thing A Teacher Should Do On Facebook… use common sense.

    The Only Thing A Teacher Should Never Do On Facebook… forget to use common sense.

    Simple enough.

    I could have made that graphic a lot smaller.

    Oh, and don't post about "wierding" someone out when you can't event spell the word correctly.

  29. Cam

    April 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t add any students. I created my facebook for me and for me to connect with my friends. I have everything private and you can’t even find me on there if you search my name. I find it’s just easier that way.

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  35. DianeEd

    October 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Your list has me totally confused. You say there are 8 things that teachers should NEVER do…and then you say Don't disucss anything that's not education-related. With the double-negative do I assume you mean Teacher's should talk about education-related things? But if that's true then it also means teachers should bad mouth on Facebook. That can't be right.

    Okay so remove the double-negative…am I now supposed to Share personal information?

    Hmmm…perhaps #9 should be Forget to edit before you post (negative implied.)

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