Thursday, December 9, 2010

MyNotes - Top 25 Facebook Apps for Educators

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Some time ago, I received an unsolicited email from Alba Collazo about the web site--Top 25 Facebook Apps for Educators--linked below. Since I didn't know who he was, and still was ignorant after visiting his web site, I wrote him and asked him to be a bit more open about his intent, who he was, etc.

Before I share his response, further down below, you'll find a few excerpts from his blog entry on "25 Facebook Apps for Educators." Most of these are apps that now have a Facebook login login using Facebook. I must caution educators that creating your account in these systems with Facebook can be problematic for you if Facebook is still blocked/filtered in your school would essentially prevent you from "logging in" to use the services!

Not all school districts have the White Oak ISD enlightened perspective, as shared here by Scott Floyd:

We do not block Facebook. Teachers and campuses use it as part of their communication with the community.  Any mis-use of it is handled just like any other classroom disruption. There is no need to create any detailed policy to cover it. You only limit yourself when you do that (our attorney's words, not mine). It is just an electronic note, basically. It just got passed differently (as an example). It is still bullying.
Now, the student that got "hacked" should be very careful with passwords. We tell all of our students that the password is theirs and they are responsible for the use of their account. There is little to no way to tell for sure who posted what if the reply is that someone got into their account. The only way for that to happen is that they gave their password to someone. It is a great teaching opportunity since they will have much more important passwords in their lives as they get older. 
Source: Email posted to TCEA CAMPSIG Listserv, 12/8/2010 

For now, here's Alba's emailed response about who he and his business represent:

I’m glad you like the article, and I certainly understand you wanting to know more before linking! We are a business that helps students find universities for pursuing their educational and career goals. Additionally, we aim to serve as an informative resource for students, prospective students, and educators through our articles. Our main focus is the field of Special Education. However, we try to vary our subjects so that anyone with an interest in learning more about education/teaching in general can benefit from our posts. Let me know if you have any other questions, and thank you for considering giving us a link from your site to help spread the word about the post. Have a great weekend!

Top 25 Facebook Apps for Educators
    • Top 25 Facebook Apps for Educators Posted by Mandy on November 22, 2010
      • You can actually use Facebook to help your students, and to interact with them. It is possible to incorporate Facebook applications into your lesson plans, and use it to interact with students.
        • Here are 25 Facebook applications that can help educators — and their students — in the classroom:
          • Webinaria: This is a screencast recorder that can help you record videos. You can record your presentations, and make them available for later use. A great tool for those who want to record their lectures.
            • Mathematical Formulas: This is a great way to help you share math with students. You can distribute different formulas and solutions, and help students with proofs.
              • JSTOR Search on Facebook: If you are looking for a great way to find research articles and help students learn about finding important information, this a great application.
                • WorldCat: This is a network of libraries and content services from around the world. You can find information at different libraries, and you can easily share knowledge with your students. A great tool.
                  • My HomeworkNOW and School Alerts: Stay connected to your students, and organized. A great way for you to coordinate with parents as well. Keeps everyone in the loop.
                    • fdCal: This is another calendar Facebook app that can help you keep up with what is happening. This app interfaces with iCal and Microsoft Outlook, as well as other programs, so that you can get information about your schedule. Helpful way to stay organized, and for your students to keep up with the class schedule.

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