Hello, reader! If you intend to post a link to this blog on Twitter, be aware that for utterly mysterious reasons, Twitter thinks this blog is spam, and will prevent you from linking to it. Here's a workaround: change the .com in the address to .ca. I call it the "Maple Leaf Loophole." And thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How To Make a Facebook Fan Page

Hooray! This seems to work the way I want it. It is allowing me to send stuff to kids outside of class that they will actually see, but I don't have to deal with the potential over-sharing of friending them. I'm testing it out with one class for the remaining few weeks of the year. Here is what I did:

1. I explained the purpose to the class. They liked the idea and were very helpful with some setup decisions. I passed around a sign-up sheet for students to provide their email address, strictly voluntary. 15 out of the 20 students present signed up.

2. I went to Facebook and created a new page. I set it to Local:Education and called it "Dispatches from Ms Nowak" which I know is a lame title but it's descriptive enough.

3. I uploaded a picture and set some other settings the way I wanted. In the "about" section, I encouraged them to use the Wall for public communication with me and each other, but use my school email address for private communication with me. Then clicked "Publish Page".

4. I sent a mass email to the students who signed up (using Bcc: so they didn't all get each others' addresses) with a link to the page. It's up to them to go there and "Become a Fan."

5. Once they are fans, they will get updates in their news feeds when Wall posts are made on the page.

Ta da! I think this is everything I wanted. I can get their attention in their communication medium of choice, but all the interactions are publicly viewable, and the only pathway for private communication is the school-sanctioned one.


  1. This is such a good idea- however, one concern is raised in my mind: What is your plan to deal with the students that are disrespectful to the page? Is there some sort of control in that respect?

  2. Amanda -

    I don't anticipate problems. So far the fans are kids I have known for a whole school year, I'd be very surprised if one of them was disrespectful to our weird little family of 3rd period trig.

    However, there is a provision to kick off a fan, and one to ban someone permanently. If there was a problem, I'd go one warning, them boot 'em.

  3. Thanks for your feedback- I think this is such a good idea! I mentioned it to a kid I know i'll have next year and he thought that it was a great idea. I might try it in my PreCalc classes first and see how it goes.

    (sidenote: Love your blog- it's the top of my rss feeds!)

  4. I think trying it in one or two classes of relatively mature kids you trust is a good way to start.

    Thanks for the kind words!


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