Education Today Logo


Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Facebook flipping – how, why, tips

Matt Lambert, Head of Physical Education and Health Department, Heretaunga College

When people think about teenagers and their use of Facebook, or any form of social media for that matter, many negative thoughts often come to mind. ‘Facebook’ and ‘education’ are two words that are seldom seen next to each other or considered to be similar enough to be spoken in the same sentence.

The reality is that social media and in particular Facebook, is a fabulous tool which can be used to enhance education in a huge number of ways. I use Facebook on a daily basis to help me ‘flip’ my classes and achieve a number of other things.

Although there are many platforms on which we can manage the online nature of our classrooms e.g. Google classroom, OneNote etc. Facebook is the one option that is already embedded into the daily lives of our students. They know how to use it. They are already using it to share, communicate, collaborate and interact. When used in conjunction with the likes of Google classroom the ultimate online learning platform can be obtained! It is also an excellent way to set relief classwork if you are away for a day or two.

The set up
It is of huge importance to note that if you are using FB with your classes then you DO NOT use your private account. Create a ‘work/ school’ account using your school email in the same manner that you have a private vs. work email.

Firstly you need to create a private group, ensure that the first person you add is a fellow teacher. This is the online equivalent of not being alone in the same room as a student. They are your witness/ moderator if anything was to go wrong. (in 7 years of using FB for flipping I have never needed this person but it is best practice to have them there).

Once the students are added then you are away. I like to personalise the page with a logo, humorous description etc. to make it more personal for the students.



An example of a class/ group logo and banner

Anything can be linked to your posts including videos, articles, images, online quizzes, Google forms and the like. You can even check who has ‘seen’ a post and who hasn’t. One of my favourite things to post is a voting poll which allows students to select between multiple options. I have used this to aid in giving students autonomy over what we are doing in the classroom.

I also like to encourage students to post to the group during and out of class time. It is hugely rewarding when a student finds some useful research and shares it to the group, allowing others to benefit from their knowledge. Students also share their views and ideas and even present their own work at times.

The number of activities that you can do is endless and forever evolving. Facebook is something that isn’t going to go away anytime soon so we need to accept its presence and embrace what it can do for us and our students.

Come and say hello to me at FlipCon NZ 2018 in Auckland, September this year. See for the details.

14 Nov 2018 | National
Nowhere to run for cheaters News Image

While it’s prevalent at universities, cheaters’ days might be numbered as markers have shown themselves to be adept at indentifying which assignments are not the work of the student and the ability improves with training. Read More

14 Nov 2018 | NSW
Surf Lifesavers head Bush News Image

Over 6000 youngsters will get a taste of the beach when the 25th annual Beach to Bush program rolls into towns including Tamworth, Lismore, West Wyalong, Young, Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Canberra. Read More

13 Nov 2018 | National
Catholic School Principals plan for future News Image

As the current crop of Catholic School Principals retires there’s concern that no one is stepping up to the plate, the Catholic Schools’ Middle Leadership Program addresses the development of new leaders. Read More

13 Nov 2018
Students asked which anti-smoking ads work best News Image

Quit Victoria’s annual Critics’ Choice initiative invites students to appraise anti-smoking ads and high school students are being called upon to get involved.
Read More

13 Nov 2018 | National
Program sees autistic toddlers thrive in mainstream kinder News Image

Toddlers with autism can thrive in normal kindergarten environments if provided with the correct scaffolding and La Trobe University’s Group-Early Start Denver Model (G-ESDM) looks to be one intervention that works well. Read More