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Monday, July 19, 2010

Cool Cat Teacher on Facebook: How it will be used, what it is for?



Reach: Building Communities and Networks for Professional DevelopmentSince reading Jeff Utecht's book, Reach, I've thought quite a bit about how I'm "doing" Facebook and am making some changes as I do summer "social media cleaning."

1) I made a Facebook Page.

I've made an official page for Cool Cat Teacher. Pages are different from profile pages in that they represent an organization or person or "entity" like "Cool Cat Teacher." They are, by definition, linked to my profile, but not to all of my friends.  This would be how someone really famous would use facebook to talk to "fans" but have a smaller group of personal friends behind the scenes on their profile.
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2) How will the page be different from my Facebook profile, this blog, or Twitter?
This page will not be repurposing the content on this blog or just sharing my tweets. Right now, those go onto my personal page, but that may change as well.

After studying some others and their use of Facebook, I think it is a fundamentally different tool than this blog. I plan to post "challenges" and ideas for improving how you use and understand technology and invite conversation. The great thing is that we don't have to be "friends."

Not that I don't want to or you don't want to, but I've found it very hard to manage the personal aspect of Facebook with the growing blog here. You probably feel the same way about me.

There are things I want to share on facebook that won't appeal to the people in my personal network and vice versa.

3) How do you follow?

Click the link above and log into facebook, that is it. Content will go onto your home feed on Facebook.

So, if you follow this blog and you're on facebook, this new Facebook page is for you. I'll share challenges and respond to your comments on facebook there.  After the transition, I may begin contacting "friends" who may be more suited to be interested in the educational aspects of my life to move to the other page from my profile. (I mean you don't want to know EVERYTHING about me, I don't think I'm that interesting.)

This is also what Jeff recommends in his book that you do for your students. Create a page like this in order to make this happen.

4) Why this is a good practice for teachers.
Now, finding how to make a page was a BEAR. I had to go to the help at the bottom right of facebook and click on "Make a page for a business or organization."  I do plan to make a "Teacher page" for my students to follow. It will have a different purpose.

Fundamentally, teachers should keep their Friends and students separate for many reasons, most importantly in the US, if you want to keep your job. (As if we become a distraction, we can be fired!)

5) How will I manage all of this?
I use Hootsuite for Twitter, Foursquare, and yes, Facebook pages and my facebook profile.  One interface, one place - it makes it very simple. It also lets me schedule things - particularly if I'm in an "overtweeting" mode - which sometimes I do tend to do!

Also, Julie, Kim and I can all post for the Twitter accounts for @flatclassroom @digiteen @eracismproject and @netgened.

I look forward to a different type of writing on Facebook - a smaller, more concise, daily challenge sort of style. Surely it will evolve as I learn what helps you most, but I hope you'll drop by and comment. This is a new thing for me!

Thanks!
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