Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving to Facebook

While having multiple places to post information for students is a good thing, I am trying to also streamline the process of getting information out to students and parents as the year goes on. In many ways I feel like this was a year of experiments, and learning with good ways to use Social Media and Web 2.0 to really connect and share.

To this end I am going to be posting more and more information on the FaceBook fan page for my classes. It is probable that next year I will have a separate fan page for each course I teach, but that remains to be seen. With RSS Graffiti, everything from this site gets pushed to FaceBook and often ideas appear there twice. SO I am going to advise students and parents to check the Fan Page first, then follow links back here as you need to.  This site will be used for longer thoughts, the static list of useful links (on the right side of the page), and for dumps of multiple related links.

FaceBook will be the primary source of test dates, extra credit, the weekly Friday Fun video and other short but time sensitive tid bits.

Here are some things that I want to be sure are out there regarding the Facebook Page:

1)  I am not asking to friend any student or parent on FaceBook.

By "Liking" the fan page, you will recieve updates to your news feed when the page is updated.  However, they are not updates from my personal FaceBook, nor does this grant me access to anything of yours (student or parent) that is locked as Friends Only or Friends of Friends Only.  In short, becoming a fan of "Me" does not make us friends any more than I am friends with Micheal Bolton, Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga and Niel Patrick Harris.

2)  You do not need to have a Facebook Account to access the page.

Simply going to the URL:  will take you to the page and you can see everything there posted.  You are welcome (and encouraged) to bookmark the page and access it that way.

3)  I will not be in direct contact with any students through Facebook.

This is a personal assurance.  All interactions on the page are done in the open with me posting important information.  At no time do I, or will I, contact a student directly on Facebook.  My personal policy is also not to Friend anyone who is a current student in Walled Lake Schools.

All dialogue should still take place through my WLCSD email:  RobertOsterman (at) WLCSD (dot) org

4)  Some news might not appear on your own FaceBook news feed.

FaceBook prioritizes your news feed by the people you interact the most with.  When you comment on people's statuses and post on their wall, the system puts a priority on that interaction and works to bring you more of it in your news feed.  Since there is not much interaction with class updates, it is likely that the system will consider it a low priority.  You may need to access "Recent News" instead of "Top News" at the top of your news stream to see updates.  Also if you have many active friends, even then an update from Tuesday could have dropped off the first page of stories by Thursday.

5)  All postings on the page are open to comment and will remain so as long as it is properly used.

Students and parents are invited to share thoughts on relevant news articles, updates, test reminders and the like through the comments feature on the website.  So far students have shown that they understand the permanence of the Internet and that the Facebook page is considered a public extension of the classroom.

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