The Ultimate Guide To Facebook’s New ‘Groups For Schools’

Facebook is moving back to its roots in education with this morning’s big announcement of custom groups for schools called, not surprisingly Groups for Schools. While I’m dubious about how, if, and why individual teachers may want to use the service… it’ll be great for entire schools who don’t have the budget or resources to build their very own online community.

So here’s the deal: Facebook will let you have an area of the site where anyone with your school’s or district’s .edu email address can get in and participate. It’s basically the same model that Mark Zuckerberg used to launch the site many moons ago.

Key Features & Questions

Here are a few ways to use Facebook Groups For Schools:

See what’s happening on campus

Like any Facebook group, there will be an activity stream, events, announcements, photo galleries, and the usual stuff. Except it’s only limited to members with the appropriate email address.

File-Sharing For Everyone

It’ll be like a giant Dropbox except it’s on Facebook. Users of a particular group can share notes, projects, schedules, assignments, and basically anything you want. After all, Facebook wants you to use their site for EVERYTHING so they can sell you stuff through advertising.

What are groups for schools?

Only students and faculty of a college or university can join groups for schools. When you join a group within the school community, you can share files, create events, message other members and stay up-to-date on what’s happening around campus.

Who can join groups for schools?

Only students and faculty with an active school email addresses can join groups for their school.

Can I be a member of groups for multiple schools?

You can join groups for multiple schools, but you’ll need to verify that you have an active email address for each school.

What happens if I leave my school community?

Leaving your school community will remove you from all of the groups within your school. If you rejoin your school community, you’ll need to rejoin each of your old groups individually.

When will groups be available for my school?

We’ll let you know as soon as groups are available for your school, or you can go to the groups for schools page to search for your college or university.

Who can I message at my school?

You can message any confirmed member of your school community without being friends first. When you start typing the name of someone you’d like to message, you’ll see a list of friends and members of your school community. Simply select the name of the person you want to reach.

How do I join groups for my school?

Once groups are available at your school, a message will appear on the left side of your home page. Click See More to learn about how groups for your school work and confirm you’re a member of your school community. You can also go to the groups for schools page to search for your college or university. Once you confirm that you’re a member of your school community, you can join, create and add other members to groups for your school.

How do I create a group for my school?
To create a group for your school:

- Go to your school’s main group
- Click the + Create Group button
- Make sure your school is selected in the “Create Group within” menu
- Enter your group name, add members and select the privacy setting for your group
- Click the Create button

How do I find groups for my school that I might want to join?

When you visit your school’s main group, at the top of the page you’ll see a pulldown menu that lets you see: suggested groups, your groups, all groups and friends’ groups. If you see a group you’re interested in, click the Join button that appears next to each group. There is also a search field where you can find a specific group.

How do I add someone to a school group?

To add someone to a school group:

- Go to the group
- Click the + Add People from school field in the right column
- Enter the names of classmates and teachers from your school

Note: People need to confirm that they have an active school email address before they can join a school group. If a group admin has turned on membership approval, members will have to be approved before joining.

How do I add someone to a school group?

To add someone to a school group:

- Go to the group
- Click the + Add People from school field in the right column
- Enter the names of classmates and teachers from your school

Note: People need to confirm that they have an active school email address before they can join a school group. If a group admin has turned on membership approval, members will have to be approved before joining.

Can I turn an existing group into a group for my school?

No, it isn’t possible to turn existing groups into school groups at this time.

How do I control the privacy of groups for my school?

People need an active school email address to confirm that they’re a member of their school community. Anyone can see the school community, its open and closed groups, as well as who’s in them. Confirmed members of the school community can create and join groups, and can add each other to groups even if they aren’t friends. Groups within the school community have three privacy options:

- Open: Anyone can see an open group, and who’s in it. Members of the school community can also see or post updates, photos, files and events shared within the group.
- Closed: Anyone can see a closed group, and who’s in it. Only members of a closed group can see or post updates, photos, events and files.
- Secret: Only members of a secret group can see the group, who’s in it and what members post and share.

Who can post in school groups?

Only members of a group can post in closed or secret groups. The admin of open groups can choose to allow non-members who are in the school community to post in the group.

If you are the admin of an open group, here’s how to adjust this feature:

- Go to your group and click on the icon
- Select Edit Group
- Under the heading Posting Permissions, you can choose to allow only members, only admins or anyone in the community to post to the group
- Click Save

How do I know if a group is part of my school community?

Groups for your school list your school’s name next to the group’s privacy setting at the top of the page.

Who is the admin of school groups?

The creator of a school group is the initial admin. They can later choose to add or remove admins. Here’s how you add an admin:

- If the potential new admin isn’t already a member of the group, add or approve them as a member
- Click on the About tab at the top of the group
- Find a member by scrolling through the page or entering a name in the search box
- Click Make Admin under the name of the member you want to add as an admin

Keep in mind that admins can remove members or admins, add new admins and edit the group description and settings. You should only add a member as an admin if you already know and trust them.

What about pre-existing school groups?

Each school community starts out with a few basic groups (ex: Textbook Exchange and Jobs & Internships). If these groups don’t have an admin yet, you can volunteer by selecting Make Me Admin from the dropdown menu. Once you’re the admin, you can add other members as admins, just like you do with other groups you admin.

Note: Admins can’t rename or change the privacy settings of pre-existing school groups.

What are files?

With Files, you can share lecture notes, assignments, schedules and many other file types with members of a school group. Anyone in a school group can upload and download files within that group. Please read Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities when sharing files.

What is the maximum size for files I upload?

The maximum file size is 25 MB.

Where can I find files in my school group?

To view all files in a group, click the Files tab at the top of the school group. You can open any file by clicking on it.

Who can upload or download files?

Any member of a school group can upload or download files. If you upload a revised version of a file, the previous version of the file will still be available.

When Can I Get It?

Groups for Schools will gradually be rolling out to colleges and universities around the world. You can sign up to find out when it will be available at your school.