Facebook recently updated their Groups feature. Allowing finer control over groups which you set up, who can join, who can post, who can share etc.. Their are also improvements to how you are notified about group updates and a new feature called ‘docs’ that provides a Google Docs-esque shared notepad / document. Group chat is also built in allowing you to talk to everyone in that group at once. For a demonstration head over to Mashable or watch this video:
- Is it appropriate?
- Should a teacher use a ‘work’ account rather than their personal Facebook profile?
- Should parental permission be sought?
- Use 2 members of staff for each group for safety’s sake?
- Will pupils mix school with pleasure and be drawn in?
Our school has had some success in this area, the PE Department have a group for discussing after school teams and clubs and it is slowly growing, with news and sensible moderated discussion. I can see a Year 7 experiment here….. Big VLE decisions are on the horizon at our school and part of me thinks a mix of free services like this and Google Docs and self hosted blogs may be the way forward. Whatever decision is made, ease of use and extremely low barriers to entry are vital and Facebook ticks these boxes strongly. Opinions?