You could start groups and discussions led by teachers running (or thinking of running) clubs or extracurricular activities and the teachers in charge could lead those discussions and moderate the groups. The librarian may want to start discussions or a group about reading and books. She could promote the summer reading list and generate book discussions right from the site. Your tech coach or teacher may want to start a group for the school's student support team where they can share great tech tips, tools, ideas and maybe even connect regarding doing some interesting trips to places of interest over the summer (i.e. Sony Wonder Technology Lab, or Museum of Television & Radio). Your Physical Education teacher may want to start some groups for different sport teams at the school.
The network could generate some excitement over the summer about the new year and you may find students have interests or thoughts you never considered. How about a general discussion for students to share what kind of clubs they would most want to join. Challenge students to come up with online groups and initiate discussions. Have each student invite their parents into their social network.Not only would a school social network be beneficial to provide an anytime/anywhere on-demand safe community for your students, it would also provide teachers and parents with experience using a social network that could translate into more informed conversations with students about their own social network and online life.
Here is more information if you are interested in starting a social network for your students.
- Read about Social Networking for Innovative Educators.
- Read Why Every Teacher Should Learn MySpace and Facebook and A 30-Day Guide To Losing Your Digital as a Second Language (DSL) Accent.
- Create a Ning Network for your own class, group, project, or event.
- Discover how to use Social Networks in EducationTrial program details - free networks for educators (ad-free).
- Check out PanWapa, as an example of a social network for early elementary students.