Tag Archives: Facebook in the Classroom

RCAC11 Presentation Notes: Facebook 1 year later

RCAC 2011 presentation notes: Facebook – one year later in WRDSB

A special thank you to my presentation guests:

Elaine MacKenzie
Dan Ballantyne
Adrienne Fiander
Shannon Smith

Related Links:

Ontario ConnectEd Leader Consortium
Log into Facebook to see OntCLC on Facebook
OCT Backgrounder
OCT Advisory
OCT Social Media video
Principals and Social Networking Report (2010)
Log into Facebook to see Dan Ballantyne’s Teacher Fan Page
RCAC

~Mark

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Facebook security and privacy basics for K12

One of the important aspects of using Facebook in the K12 environment is having appropriate security and privacy settings. Whether you are teaching digital citizenship or using Facebook as a collaboration and communication tool, it is important to understand and review your security and privacy settings.

After logging into Facebook, click the ‘account’ tab and choose privacy to view the screen below. Next, select the ‘view settings’ option.


The top 3 settings (below) govern the settings for your visibility on Facebook, that is, how easy it is for people to find you. Narrowing down the permissions (friends of friends, friends)  in these settings places increasing limitations on who can locate you. Leaving these settings at ‘everyone’ makes it easy for people to find you.

There are settings for all other aspects of Facebook. Facebook security and privacy settings allow for control over most aspects of this environment. The greatest control is implemented by organizing your contacts (friends)  into ‘lists’. Once your lists are created (through the manage friends option), use can further control access to Facebook features by adding these list names to the ‘exclude’ section within the option panel. This feature is particularly helpful in the K12 space where administrators, teachers and students may be collaborating together within the Facebook space.

Many Facebook users like to make their friends/contacts aware of a personal or professional web resources such as a web site, blog or wiki etc. Access to the listing of your web resource is controlled by the website option as listed below.

The screen shot below shows a small sample of the other security options available.

Facebook users have complete flexibility over how much contact information is shared, if any. I have personally found it helpful to include my professional email address  so that potential contacts can use that address as a search option.

I would certainly recommend a thorough review of the various options in the applications section since many applications require some access to your profile in order to function.

Facebook uses strategies to personalize your experience by tracking what you click, much in the same way an Internet browser does using the cookie function. It is important to decide whether or not you want this information to be potentially available outside of the Facebook environment. A greater level of privacy is maintained by unchecking the ‘enable instant personalization on partner websites’ option. This is on be default.

Finally, there is an option to completely turn off public search results. Turning this off (by unchecking the option) means your Facebook profile, as you defined it, will not display in Facebook searches. Essentially, turning this off means people can not find you, you must find them.

Note: There are additional settings to block interactions with specified Facebook users.

I hope this security/privacy overview provides some insights to using Facebook in a professional manner within the K12 environment.

~ Mark

Facebook – new group function in K12

One of my earlier blog posts I made some recommendations for settings for setting up groups for use in the K-12 environment. Since that post, the Facebook group function has changed and I wanted to share what I have learned so far.

The group function is still accessed from the main page in Facebook.

Select the ‘create group’ option.

Next, enter a name for your group, choose an icon from the drop down list and select the type (open, closed or secret). I recommend ‘closed’ for K-12.

Once the group is created, the new ‘header’ is displayed.

Changes include:

  • the ‘post’ area is not visible by default, it must be selected
  • document creation and editing has been added
  • discussion areas within the groups have been removed

Note: groups created prior to this feature change continue to function the way they did.

Group settings are adjusted through the ‘edit’ and ‘settings’ options.

What Else is New?

  • The new group function also provides the option of defining a group mailing list. In my example, I would name the mailing list after the group (watweb20@groups.facebook.com). Messages posted to this addresses are distributed to group members.
  • Only Facebook friends may be added to a group. The email list option to invite group members has been removed.
  • Invited friends are automatically added to the group. The former request/accept process has been removed.
  • Group members can remove themselves from a group, but must request to rejoin as they can not be reinvited
  • The group owner (administrator)  may also remove group members
  • The display of posts has also changed. When a group member posts on a group wall, the post also shows in your personal newsfeed (not wall). Friends in the group will also see the post in their newsfeed. The ability to see posts is also impacted by the ‘top news’ or ‘recent’ setting.

All in all, the new group function will work well for K-12 usage.  I recommend that users set their security and privacy settings appropriate for professional conduct and interaction with students.

Thank you to @rebrouse and @rickbudd for working with me to test and document our learnings.

Happy collaborating in a social networking environment.

~ Mark

Facebook in the K12 Classroom

Connecting Facebook use to the Classroom

Over the last week, I had a number of opportunities to connect with teachers and have some dialogue about about using Facebook to support learning. Yes, Facebook is a social environment, but it has a huge untapped potential in the areas of engagement, community, sharing, current issues and writing.

I thought I would share this list of activities some of our teachers see as effective uses of Facebook within the learning environment. Many of these are already beginning to happen in our classrooms!

  • conversational writing (French in this case)
  • sharing of poetry writing
  • collaborative math homework support groups – students helping students with teacher support
  • peer review of student created movie trailers
  • short blog style writing posts with opportunity for peer review
  • creating a shared student art gallery
  • discussion of global issues
  • math/science challenge questions
  • use of class groups to provide frequent feedback and positive encouragement (linked to our recent PD session with Dr. D. Reeves)
  • use of teacher fan pages to connect with students re class schedules, homework assignments, test dates etc.
  • school/department pages as another way to connect readers to key events, related news items, promote new library offerings
  • a forum to discuss digital citizenship, online safety and prevention of bullying
  • analyse sample situations in terms of digital citizenship and character development goals

Congratulations to these teachers for their forward thinking about using the power of social media tools in new and powerful ways. I look forward to working with teachers and school Digital Citizenship committee to plan our journey forward.

~ Mark

Facebook in K12 – Resources

Links: 2010-09-18  — Facebook in the Classroom


Synthesize the Concepts

Iowa city are now using the social media website inside the classroom

The Science Behind Feeling Good While Social Networking

Ideas for Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines – More Thoughts

Suggestions: Facebook guidelines for students, parents and schools

ST. CHARLES Community College Facebook Guidelines

Use Facebook to Support School Homework

Note: These resources have also been posted in my ‘Facebook in the Classroom’ user group on Facebook.

~ Mark