It seems kind of strange that it took until now for this to happen, but it’s true: this week Facebook launched a new kind of community page for schools, faculty and their students. And all you need to use it is an active .edu email address.
So if your school has a Groups for Schools page on Facebook, students and faculty can message, exchange files and organize events together.
As Sarah Kessler from Mashable writes, “Aside from creating school-based online communities, the pages mainly serve as hubs for campus-related groups. From them, students can browse, search for and create these groups. Facebook makes recommendations on which ones to join based on classes and activities.”
Through the Groups for Schools page, a student will be able to message any member of their school whether they’re friends on Facebook or not. All they have to do is type the name of the person they want to message and an appropriate list of names will appear for them to choose from.
“Like other Facebook Groups, an admin must form the group and invite members,” writes Mark Hachman of PCMAG.com. “A list of suggested groups will appear at the top of the page. But Groups for Schools exists separately from existing Groups, so that a volleyball club at Notre Dame will be forced to form a new, separate group within the Groups for Schools framework.”
If your school signs on and you want to create a group for it, it’s a pretty simple process. First, go to your school’s main group and click the +Create Group button. (Make sure your school is selected in the ‘Create Group within’ menu.) Enter your group name, add members and–important!–select your group’s privacy setting. Then click the Create button.
So Groups for Schools is a great idea and everything, but let’s talk privacy!
Only confirmed school community members can create and join groups and add other members. They can see school communities, which groups are open and which are closed, as well as who’s in them.
Groups have 3 privacy options, according to the Facebook Help Center:
Open: Anyone can see an open group, and who’s in it. Members of the school community can also see or post updates, photos, files and events shared within the group.
Closed: Anyone can see a closed group, and who’s in it. Only members of a closed group can see or post updates, photos, events and files.
Secret: Only members of a secret group can see the group, who’s in it and what members post and share.
Each school starts out with a few basic groups like Textbook Exchange and Jobs and Internships. If they don’t already have admins, community members can volunteer by selecting Make Me Admin from the settings drop down menu.
I searched for a couple of the fine institutions I once attended and apparently they aren’t quite ready for the Groups for Schools page yet. But they did appear in the drop down menu, so that’s a start. Facebook also offered to contact me when they went finally went online, which was nice of them.
So Facebook is going back to its roots. Nothing controversial about that. Right?
Talk To Us! Do you think Groups for Schools is a good idea or is it just too much Facebook all the time for kids?
Image Source: Gizmodo