This week’s Tech Tuesdays column is running a day late, due to attending the Faculty Development Center’s excellent “Teaching With Technology” program yesterday.
A couple of weeks ago, Facebook announced a new platform — Groups for Schools. This new platform allows Facebook users from the same college or university to create an entire network of Groups specific to that particular institution, and these new Groups for Schools are ONLY accessible to members of that institution who have an active campus email address associated with their personal Facebook Profile.
In Cal State Fullerton’s case, only Facebook users with a valid @fullerton.edu or @csu.fullerton.edu email address may join the “Groups at CSU Fullerton” network.
The “Groups at CSU Fullerton” network can be accessed several ways. You can try finding it via the Facebook search bar, you can search for it from the Groups for Schools site, the home page of your personal Profile should display a notice and link at the top of your left sidebar if you already have your campus email attached to your Profile, or you can access the Groups at CSU Fullerton home page directly at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/groupsatcsufullerton/.
It is important to note that Groups at CSU Fullerton is not actually affiliated with, or endorsed by, the university. That is true as well of every other campus group in this new Groups for Schools platform. The main campus group for each college or university is created and administered by Facebook. It is not possible for a campus employee to be attached as a group administrator. This is not the case with the sub-groups that reside under the main campus group — those groups need to manually be created, and then are administered by the person who created the group.
What is different from regular Facebook Groups?
- All group members must have an active CSUF email address affiliated with their Facebook Profile.
- Only Facebook users with a valid CSUF email address may join any of these new groups.
- Unlike regular Facebook Groups, members of Groups for Schools can upload a broader range of files (i.e., Word or Excel files, PowerPoints, PDFs, etc.) than just the photos or videos allowed in regular Groups. This is particularly useful for course documents.
- Unlike regular Facebook Groups, members of the same “Schools” group can chat privately (not just do a group chat) with each other right within the Group page, using the Message feature — even if those members are not Facebook Friends. This is again very helpful for instruction courses.
- By default, email notifications for group activity are sent to your campus email account, and to the primary email account associated with your Facebook Profile (if that is a personal email account, rather than your campus email account). This means two email notifications if you’re like me. If you only want notifications sent to your personal email address, you can toggle off the campus email notification from the Notifications settings for your groups.
Why might one want to create a group within Groups at CSU Fullerton?
- One might want to share content or updates only among the CSUF community, instead of the regular Facebook community.
- One might want to take advantage of the new File uploading feature or the more flexible Chat avialable in Groups for Schools.
What types of groups has the CSUF community already created?
- Campus community groups, such as the CSUF Faculty group.
- Graduating class groups, such as the Class of 2012 group.
- Special interest groups, such as the Christian Students group.
- Major or discipline focused groups, such as the American Studies group or the Biochemistry group.
- Student clubs and organizations, such as the Adventure Club or the Accounting Society.
- Course groups, such as the Comm 497T group.
How can a CSUF member create a new CSUF-related group?
- Go to the home page for the main Groups at CSU Fullerton site.
- Click on the “Create Group” button located under the header (cover) photo, at the far right.
- The rest of the process is identical to creating a regular Facebook Group, however, you can only add members that have a valid CSUF email attached to their Profile.
How can I learn more?
- Follow the Pollak Library’s Facebook Page and The Pollak Library Blog for updates, tips, and use cases.
- If you are a CSUF faculty member who is interested in sharing or learning more about using social media for instruction and research, join the CSUF Faculty Social Media User Group on Facebook.
- Refer to the Facebook Help Center.