Showing posts with label Facebook for Parents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook for Parents. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

If You Manage a School Facebook Page, Watch Out for This Scam

I manage a handful of Facebook Pages. This morning when I logged into Facebook I had notifications that "Verified Facebook Page" had requested administrative access to those pages. This seemed phishy to me and so rather than just clicking "accept" I stopped and thought about it then did a little research before ultimately determining that it was a phishing attempt that would have given complete control of my Facebook pages to a stranger if I hadn't caught it first. Here's how the scam works and how I figured it out.

How the "Verified Facebook Page" Scam Works

  • Someone creates a Facebook account that he/she calls "Verified Facebook Page" or something similarly named to make you think that Facebook is actually reaching out to you.
  • Said person then sends requests to you as the owner/administrator of your Facebook Page asking for administrative access. 
    • If you grant administrative access to the fake "Verified Facebook Page" account, the owner of that fake account then goes in and changes the settings, content, and will attempt to lock you out of the page that you own. 

How I Detected the "Verified Facebook Page" Scam

  • Since I had previously done some research on the process of getting the little blue verified checkmark that you see on pages verified by Facebook, I knew that the pages I manage are not eligible for the verified status (the reasons why are a point of contention, but that's a topic for another day).
  • I also know from experience of managing pages for many years, Facebook doesn't just send a request without an explanation in the form of a FB inbox message, an email, a phone call, or all three in some cases. (Phone calls are rare and you shouldn't expect one unless you have hundreds of thousands of followers or you spend a lot of money on Facebook advertising).
  • I know that Facebook doesn't need to request access to a page if they want to do anything to it. They can suspend any page at any time for policy violations or to simply respond to suspected account security breach.
  • I did a quick Google search for "Verified Facebook Page Scam" and found plenty of examples of page administrators getting locked out of their pages after approving administrative access for "Verified Facebook Page."
The Bottom Line for Administrators of School Facebook Pages
  • If you get a request for administrative access to your Facebook page when you weren't expecting one and or from someone you don't recognize, deny the request and report it to Facebook as suspicious activity. 
    • If someone who actually works for Facebook is trying to contact you, it won't be through a simple request without an explanation. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

How to Control What Appears in Your Facebook Feed

This afternoon I received an email from a reader who was quite upset that I was posting on her Facebook account. Since I'm not in the business of hacking the social media accounts of my readers, I think she meant that she was seeinf a lot of the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook posts in her stream. The only people who control what you see in your Facebook account are you and Mark Zuckerberg's employees. You can adjust what you see when you sign into your Facebook account by using the various visibility controls that Facebook makes available to users. The following video that I made will give you a crash course on how to adjust what you see on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Facebook (Re)Introduces Groups for Schools and File Sharing

Remember when Facebook was just a network for college students? Well they're not reverting back to those days, but today they did introduce Groups for Schools that do require members to have a .edu email from the college or university whose group they wish to join. The new Groups for Schools option is for colleges and universities who wish to create groups in which to post lectures, notes, and files. Groups for Schools includes a file sharing option that members of each group can use.

TechCrunch has a good piece about Facebook's new Group's for Schools that I recommend reading.

Applications for Education
Groups for Schools can't be used by K-12 schools, but it seems like it could be a great way for colleges to connect with students. For K-12 schools creating Facebook Pages and Private Groups is still an option. I created a Facebook page that was nothing more than updates from my course blog. I did that just to provide another place where students and their parents could get information related to my courses.

Monday, December 6, 2010

17 Free eBooks for Teachers and Parents

Over the last eighteen months I've created and offered seven free ebooks for teachers. In those ebooks I've covered Google tools, web search, video creation, blogging, and other resources of interest to educators. All seven of those ebooks are available in the right hand column of Free Technology for Teachers. This morning I'd like to highlight some other free ebooks created by others for teachers and parents.

Silvia Tolisano, author of the excellent Langwitches blog, has an awesome free ebook about digital storytelling. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators is a 120 page guide to using digital storytelling tools in your classroom. The guide offers clear directions for using tools like Audacity, Google Maps, Photo Story, VoiceThread, and other digital media creation tools. Silvia's directions are aided by clearly annotated screenshots of each digital storytelling tool.

Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators also provides a good explanation of digital storytelling in general and the benefits of using digital storytelling in your classroom. You can download the ebook for free on Lulu. You can also purchase a paperback copy of the book for $8.50. I think $8.50 is too low of a price because I bet most people would happily pay twice that price.

The Digital Storytelling Teacher Guide is a free twenty-eight page ebook produced by Microsoft. The guide outlines the basics of digital storytelling, offers ideas for digital storytelling projects for all grade levels, and provides examples of digital storytelling projects. Microsoft's Digital Storytelling Teacher Guide also offers instruction for using Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story in the classroom.
Terry Freedman served as the editor of the free ebook The Amazing Web 2.o Projects Book which is comprised of the contributions of 94 people. I took a look at the book last night and was impressed by what I found in the 121 pages of The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book. Within the book readers will find 87 web-based projects. Each project in the book has defined objectives, defined grade level or age range, links to additional information (including how-to's) about the project, and tips for teachers planning to use the project.

Ana Maria Menezes offers a 53 page free ebook titled 20 WEBTOOLS Applied to Teaching. In addition to some well-known services like Animoto, Ana Maria has included some lesser-known tools that could be particulary useful for ESL/ELL instruction. You can download the ebook from Issuu. I also recommend browsing through Ana Maria's blog, Life Feast, if you've never visited it.

As we know, the Internet is a great place to find information on anything that sparks your curiosity. Likewise, the web is a great resource for students, but they need to know how to evaluate what they find and discern the good from the bad. That's where we come in as teachers. And to help us help our students, Microsoft offers us a free 37 page ebook titled Developing Critical Thinking Through Web Research Skills. The ebook presents strategies for teaching Internet search skills and strategies for evaluating information. The ebook also links to many additional resources for teaching web search strategies. There are strategies and resources appropriate for students from in early elementary grades through high school included in the ebook. As you might expect, the ebook is heavy on references to Bing and other Microsoft products, but overall it is a good resource worth your time to download and read.

Edutopia offers a free PDF guide to improving communication between schools and parents. Edutopia's Home-to-School Connections Guide features ten ideas that you can implement right away to improve your communications with parents. Some of the ideas included are using Facebook to connect, using Google Voice, and building partnerships with parents. Readers of this blog may recognize Larry Ferlazzo's name in the section about building partnerships with parents. Overall, Edutopia's Home-to-School Connections Guide offers good practical advice for improving communications between schools and parents.

Connect Safely, a resource reviewed last year on Free Technology for Teachers, offers a 32 page guide to Facebook for parents. A Parents' Guide to Facebook is a soup-to-nuts guide to Facebook privacy settings, profile settings, group settings, and more. For parents who "just don't get Facebook" the guide offers great explanations of the appeal of Facebook for teenagers and what teenagers do on Facebook.  The guide provides a run down of recommended settings for teenagers and explanations of what those settings mean.

Own Your Space is a free, sixteen chapter ebook designed to educate tweens and teens about protecting themselves and their stuff online. This ebook isn't a fluffy, general overview book. Each chapter goes into great detail explaining the technical threats that students' computers face online as well as the personal threats to data that students can face online. For example, in the first chapter students learn about different types of malware and the importance of installing security patches to prevent malware infections. The fourteenth chapter explains the differences between secured and unsecured wireless networks, the potential dangers of an unsecured network, and how to lock-down a network. Download the whole book or individual chapters here.

The author of My French Easel, Benoit Philippe, offers ebook for art teachers titled Creative Exercises for Artists and Everyone Else. Creative Exercises for Artists and Everyone Else contains seventeen specific exercises for artists and aspiring artists. The exercises cover a range of drawing and painting techniques that almost anyone can do regardless of your current skill level. Included with the publication are templates on which you can try the exercises. Philippe also included some background information on the history and development of some the techniques and exercises.

For the right people and schools, a Ubuntu build of the Linux operating system can be a good cost-saving alternative to Mac and Windows operating systems. What holds some people back from trying Ubuntu is a lack of understanding of how to use it. That's where Getting Started with Ubuntu comes in to help those folks that want to try Ubuntu for the first time.
Getting Started with Ubuntu is a free 165 page ebook produced by a team of writers and editors. The manual covers everything an end-user would need to know about how to use Ubuntu. You can download the ebook for free or order it as a bound book from Lulu.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Cautionary Note About Using Facebook to Connect With Students & Parents

Twice last week (here and here) I shared information about using Facebook fan pages and community pages to communicate course information to students and their parents. One thing that I forgot to mention to those who decide to try creating a fan page is that you do need to monitor your page for spam comments. If you log into your Facebook fan page as an administrator, by default you will only see the items you posted. It's important that you look at the "just others" tab to see if students, parents, or spammers have posted anything. If someone has spammed your page, you can remove the comment and or ban that person from posting anything on your page in the future. Below I've included a screen capture of the Facebook fan page for my courses.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Video Tour of Facebook's Privacy Settings

David Lee King is a librarian and blogger who writes about libraries, the web, and how the two can play together. I discovered his blog today through Jason Falls and enjoyed spending some time exploring Mr. King's blog posts and presentations. Today, David Lee King's post is a video tour of Facebook's latest privacy options, what the different options mean, and how to opt in or opt out of Facebook's privacy settings. Watch the video below.

Applications for Education
Unfortunately, not all of our students that use Facebook understand what the various privacy settings mean. If you find yourself with an opportunity to teach this to students, this video could be a nice supplement to your instructions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parent Engagement in the 21st Century Guest Blogger Lorna Costantini

I want to thank Richard for his invitation to share some ideas about parent engagement and how to use technology to connect parents to the classroom and support student learning. I am the facilitator for Parent Reaching Out project for the Niagara Catholic District School Board in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

I am also the moderator for the Parents as Partners web cast at and recently joined the “Live” conversations at Classroom 2.0 as a co-host so I am totally immersed in using Web 2.0 tools. I have shared some of my thoughts and experiences in these two blogs at and

Over the past three years, I have been working with parents and schools in a project focused on increasing parent engagement. In the first phase of the project, a video was produced to capture what we saw as a reality. All too often the relationships between teachers and parents are broken. Take a look at the seven minute video. It might be a familiar picture. We are in the third year of the pilot program and at this stage I will be working with teachers to help them build technology into a program developed by the National Network of Partnership Schools called Teachers Involving Parents in School Work.

There has been tremendous discussion about how parents’ negative reactions interfere with the use of tools such as classroom blogs, podcasts and the like. The lack of accurate information fueled by negative media coverage has made all to many administrators hesitant to embrace the read and write era for fear of the repercussions from parents. While many, many good teachers are working to prepare their students for the 21st century, I believe that there is an opportunity that should not be ignored.

The TIPS program offers a vehicle to create experiences that directly involve parents in schoolwork. Parents become active participants in schoolwork that reinforces learning without expecting parents to be teachers. Parents do care about their child’s learning but most just do not know how or what is expected. The task – challenge, if you will - is to use podcasts, classroom blogs etc. to enhance this program. I know that this blog has a great following of excellent educators and I am hoping that you might just take up the torch.

As part of this challenge, Parents as Partners will be hosting an Elluminate session Monday February 23, 2009 at 8:00 PM EST (GMT-5). “Connecting with parents using Facebook – what it means to be a digital parent.” You can find all the details to participate in this post.

Please join us and share your experiences supporting students and parents in the 21st century.
image by Karl Herman on Flickr

Friday, February 13, 2009

Facebook for Parents

When my school district discussed banning the use of all social networks it, like many other districts, was reacting to fear of "what could happen" if students use social networking sites. Rather than preventing access, the better solution is to educate parents, teachers, and administrators about the potentially good uses of social networking sites. The other part of the solution to the "what could happen" dilemma is to educate students about responsible online behavior.

Facebook for Parents is an online education program for parents to learn about Facebook including tips on making sure their children are practicing responsible online citizenship. The homepage of Facebook for Parents offers five tips for parents just beginning to learn about Facebook. Facebook for Parents has a free email newsletter for parents to keep up to date on the latest research and best practices for keeping kids safe online.

Applications for Education
Facebook for Parents is going to be added to the list of resources that I give to parents concerned about their child's Internet use. Every year I have parents express concern that their child knows more about the Internet than they do. Facebook for Parents might not make parents more knowledgeable about the Internet than their children, but it will help to close the knowledge gap.