Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks: Connection Requests

User Question- Why am I getting “connection requests” from people on Bloomz?  What does that do? 

I hear this question a lot from both teachers and parents.  Most of the time, they are wary of this invite.  It becomes the “friend request on Facebook from the person that you may have went to elementary school with, but would never have remembered them if you passed them in the street”.  They send you a friend request, and if you accept they now get to see everything you post, and you start getting all of their updates as well.  Or worse- a friend request from someone you don’t even know!  Then there is all of the social etiquettes that have been created around social media.  Feeling guilty about hurting someone’s feelings if you ignore or deny their request.  Or on the reverse end- getting your feelings hurt if someone doesn’t respond.

This has actually been an ongoing issue for educators over the last handful of years.  What do you do if a parent “friends” you on Facebook?  Is it appropriate to accept? Will you upset your parents if you don’t, and what will the fallout be of that “denied” request?    Do you really want your students’ parents seeing your posts of your personal life?  There are A LOT of opinions on this subject from teachers and administrators.  I have had friends that flat out refuse to accept any parent of a student they have taught.  Other friends of mine will gladly accept friend requests so that they can see all of the great things their students accomplish as they grow.  And my last teacher friend group that will ignore friend requests until their student has left their classroom, and will accept the request then.  There have even been school policies put in place for this very thing… but all of the lines are gray and hard to enforce.

What often makes people think twice about accepting these requests,  is the degree of personal information shared with these “new connections”.  Well never fear!  With Bloomz, a connection request is just that.  A connection.  When you sign up for an account, Bloomz does not publish personal information like email or phone number, and only the people you want to see your posts will.  The only information visible to other users in Bloomz is what you are willing to provide in your account.  Your name, photo, student profiles are all up to you.

So what does a “connection” do then?  As of now, it only means that any connection will show up first in your contact list.  This will make it easier to message and invite parents to Bloomz events or volunteering.  That’s it!  As Bloomz grows, your Bloomz community will continue to grow as you get invited to more classes.  I have my school, my son’s sports team, his aftercare program, and a few groups.  That is a lot of people in my Bloomz community!  Sending a quick message to my son’s teacher that he is sick and won’t need to be picked up for after care just takes a few seconds because the after care director is a connection of mine and shows up right at the top when I am creating a new message.

So to all of the Bloomz users out there that have thought twice about accepting a connection request- don’t worry.  Nothing will change in your Bloomz world.  All it means is that a parent will be able to find you faster if they need to send you a note.  I wish you all “Happy Connecting”!

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