Using the Internet for Your Home School Group (Part 2: Facebook)

[] I want to be able to send mass updates (i.e. messages) to people on Facebook about what our home school group is doing.

[] I want to post regular messages in chronological format.

[] I want non-Facebook users to be able to read content we post to Facebook.

If you only checked the first four items off the list, then you want to set up a Facebook Group. If you checked any other items, you should consider setting up a Facebook Page.

Facebook Pages (aka “Public Profiles”) are more interactive and can do most of the things on the list above very effectively, but they tend to require more maintenance. Facebook Groups are little more limited, but also lend themselves to use a more “set it and forget it” format. Pick the one that meets your needs, but understand that Facebook Pages—while very easy to set up—do require a slightly-more-tech-savvy user (don’t worry, though; I really believe anybody can get a Facebook Page going in a matter of minutes if they just take a moment to read the instructions Facebook provides).

Alright, so you’ve decided what type of Facebook presence you want (Group or Page); now it’s time to get down to business. Get your tech-savvy helper, if you have one, find a computer, and go to http://www.facebook.com.

The first thing you need is a Facebook account. If your assistant has one already, use it. Otherwise, set one up; it doesn’t take long, and is a very straightforward process.

Alright, now begin setting up your Group or Page. For Groups:

For some reason, Facebook’ developers have decided to make it hard to find the page that lets you make groups. Go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/create.php. It has the forms and instructions you need to get started.

Fill out the form on this page, and click “Create Group.” Remember: This information is going to be very static, and is somewhat difficult to change.

Invite your friends on Facebook (i.e. the other members of your home school group) to join the group you just made.

You’re done!

For Pages:

Once again, the place to get started is not easy to find. Here is a link to it: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

You need to establish what type of page you want to create (local, business-related, etc.). Remember that Pages are much easier to edit later, but it’s easier to get it right the first time.

Follow the instructions on the pages that follow; you’ll need to publish your page before anyone can see it. Once it’s published, it will appear on Facebook’s search engine, so if someone searches for “Crossett Home School Group,” your page will show up (provided your part of the Crossett Home School Group).

There are plenty of ways to deck out your Facebook Page, but I don’t have room to cover them all here. Suffice it to say there are more than enough websites out there that can help you; Google is your best friend, here. Get on the search engine, type “Facebook Page Tips and Tricks,” and see what you get.

That’s a (very) cursory overview of Facebook and its uses for home schoolers; next week we will consider blogging, and other forms of social networking.

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  1. Home School Blog » Blog Archive » Using the Internet for Your Home School Group (Part 3: Blogging):

    [...] so your home school group has mass email and it has a Facebook account; what now? If your group is extremely active—or if you personally are, and you want to tell the [...]