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Facebook Launches Groups for Schools

Facebook has unveiled Groups for Schools to connect students and faculty at colleges and universities.

Groups for Schools are online communities that allow users to send messages to other members in groups and sub-groups, share files such as lectures, assignments, and schedules (up to 25 MB), and create and post events. Groups can be created for classes, dorms, campus clubs, and more. Members of groups do not need to be Facebook friends.

Features of Groups for Schools include:

  • The ability to create a group and add members within the main college or university group;
  • Customizable privacy settings, including open, which makes the group available to anyone, closed, which allows anyone to see the group and its members, but requires membership to view or post material, and secret, which only allows member to see the group and who's in it; and
  • A pulldown menu that shows friends' groups, all groups, your groups, and suggested groups.

In addition, the creator or administrator of each group can approve or deny membership to any student or faculty member and designate additional administrators for that group.

To access the tool, users must have an active .edu e-mail address. To find out if a group has already been created for a school, go to the Groups for Schools page and search for the name of the college or university. Uaers will also be alerted when groups are set up for their school via a message on the left-hand side of their homepage.

Facebook, which was available only to college students and faculty until 2005, tested Groups for Schools at Brown and Vanderbilt universities in December 2011.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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