Facebook has announced its new Groups for Schools effort, which will allow students at colleges and universities to create exclusive groups for their students and professors.
As it is, however, the new Groups for Schools effort does not address the needs of K-12 students and teachers.
Group members will be admitted only with a proper college- or university-issued email address, differentiating the communities from other user-created groups that are either open to the public or private with the conditions for admission set by individual users.
Facebook’s Groups for Schools will also include file sharing capabilities, according to a company announcement, with the stipulations that shared files not be copyrighted and not exceed 25 megabytes, according to the blog TechCrunch.
It appears what Facebook is trying to do, by adding a measure of exclusivity for students and faculty, may be to lower users’ inhibitions about what material they publicly share.
“You can join a group for your major to discuss classes, for your sorority to plan upcoming events, or for your dorm to share photos,” writes Facebook Engineer Michael Novati in the company announcement. (You could also conceivably discuss all the great content on the Digital Directions Facebook page.)
Stay tuned for K-12 developments in the Groups for Schools effort. It’s important to remember that just because the service won’t be available to K-12 schools right now doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future, especially since the entire Facebook platform, which sports nearly 1 billion active users, began as a service only for college students.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.