Facebook launches guide for school counselors

Facebook has funded and helped put together a guide for school counselors. The social networking giant recruited iKeepSafe and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to write it.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook today announced a partnership with iKeepSafe and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The result is a new guide, called Facebook for School Counselors, which gives school counselors advice on how to better understand and engage with their students.

More specifically, it is designed to increase school counselors' familiarity with social networking and to help them communicate better with their students, parents, and colleagues. While I've embedded it above, you can also download the 9-page document directly from here: Facebook for School Counselors Guide (PDF).

With the popularity of social media, school counselors often find themselves called upon to address and resolve the very real consequences of issues that are born in the virtual space. Facebook for School Counselors tells them about appropriate uses of Facebook, both in and outside the classroom.

Facebook believes that school counselors have a vital role in teaching students how to stay safe online so it funded and worked with the two organizations to put the guide together. The document is meant to help school counselors in four key areas related to social networking:

  • Developing their school's Internet policy.
  • Responding to online incidents that impact learning conditions.
  • Detecting at-risk behavior.
  • Teaching their students "digital citizenship".

Facebook for School Counselors also explains Facebook features that are particularly helpful to school counselors and educators. The social networking giant says it hopes that if school counselors understand how the service works, they can more effectively address and confidently resolve issues that may arise.

"It's important to provide school counselors—often the first line of defense in managing digital incidents with students—the necessary tools and skills to be competent and confident," iKeepSafe president Marsalil Hancock said in a statement. "We applaud Facebook for leading the industry in providing these great resources."

"Facebook is deeply committed to helping teens and educators understand the value of social media in education," Joel Kaplan, Facebook Vice President of U.S. Policy, said in a statement. "That is why we are thrilled to collaborate with iKeepSafe and the American School Counselor Association to provide valuable resources to these educators. Facebook for School Counselors highlights specific ways that school counselors encounter social media and empowers them with resources and information to benefit their schools, students and colleagues."

The guide is a complement to the other education one Facebook released in March 2011. You can download the 18-page document directly from here: Facebook for Educators Guide (PDF). All other such resources are available at facebook.com/safety.

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