Giving an educational face to facebook

I've had on my list for some to explore facebook and am spending my R&D time this vacation on Facebook. (And time is almost up.)

(By the way, I think that all people committed to innovation should take some time for R&D- research and development, each week and preferably each day. My R&D time is when I get my light bulb moments. But, set the timer, it could suck you in!)

I'm coolcatteacher over there. But I must say, except for adding a twitter app (to post my twitter updates), and adding a delicious app, I'm sorely deficient on how to effectively use facebook.

So, facebook fans, tell me, what are the groups I should join? How should I connect on facebook? What are your tips?

I'm all ears and will post more later about what “I think.” I don't know anything and need to see what you think.

I am spurred forward because articles like the recent 14 year old girl's suicide caused by the creation of a fictious person on myspace has me greatly bothered and makes me feel that we as educators must begin to understand this world and create ways for kids to interact with us outside the “official” schoolhouse. Could someone have helped her?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Alec Couros November 21, 2007 - 3:54 pm

Vicki, there are a couple of areas within Facebook that you can add to your reader … you have to look closely, but they are there. These ar under “status updates” and “posted items”. This feature does help me be much more connected to FB, without actually checking it all the time.

Jennifer Carrier Dorman November 21, 2007 - 4:38 pm

Here are some of the educational groups on Facebook to which I belong:
The Common Craft Show
TED::Ideas Worth Spreading
Learning 2.0
K-12 Educators in Second Life
K12 Open Source
Educational Technologists
School 2.0
Classroom 2.0
Discovery Educator Network

Here is my Facebook profile –

Karyn Romeis November 21, 2007 - 4:50 pm

(1) Use the search feature to find people you know from other areas of your life and send them friendship requests
(2) Once you have some friends, look at their profiles to see what groups they belong to – join a few yourself
(3) Have a look at some of your friends’ profiles and, when you see an app that you fancy, add it to your own page
(4) Visit your inbox and your notifications page regularly
(5) Use the filters on your friends page to watch changing statuses and updates to profiles
(6)Send people messages and write on their walls to let them know you’ve noticed their change in status and to express your support, sympathy, encouragement, pleasure, etc.
(7) Use the “photos” link to see new photos uploaded by your friends – comment on a few and tag people you know in them.

Having said that, once you’ve made a few friends, you start to find yourself being invited to attend, join and add all sorts of events, causes, groups, apps, etc.

Karyn Romeis November 21, 2007 - 6:33 pm

Having had another look at your post – this time following up by reading the articles about theis young girl’s tragic suicide, my feelings are that

(a) the mother of the estranged friend should have been held accountable for her actions, but
(b)it’s a little weird to see the blogosphere being referred to as a single entity by the papers – the blogosphere has taken action against this family, it seems. That seems a little like saying that the “news industry” or the “United States” or “the ice hockey playing community” have taken a particular course of action based on the behaviour of some members of that set
(c)Unless “the blogosphere” pulls in its horns, there’s going to be another tragedy as the estranged friend (and possibly her mother) decides that it’s all too much to handle.

Raffi November 22, 2007 - 5:30 pm

Vicki, Facebook is yet another social tool, that is lately grabbing all the attention. What’s unique about it is that kids, youth, young adults and elder are using it!

The best thing about it is that I use it to promote our group and specially the content of the blog can be added to your profile.

Many are using for business and marketing purposes too.

Use the following applications: Blog Friends, Blog Link, Flog Blog, and of course Notes.

There are other applications like Wiki Mono, but I still haven’t tried that out.

I have posted about it on our youth blog:
Oh, you don’t have Facebook!
Facebook has a bad side, nooooo, no way!
How did my picture go public?

A. November 27, 2007 - 1:26 am

My personal favorite on Facebook is Scrabulous, but it will eat your life!

Karyn Romeis November 28, 2007 - 2:21 pm

I agree with A, and am up for a game anytime!

mpstaton December 2, 2007 - 9:29 am

I have created for teachers and students and would love to hear from you! ( I learned about you today at the NCSS conference)

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere