OLMC Facebook Fan Page

Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg teacher librarian Michael Jongen has recently developed a Facebook Fan page for the students. Michael explains:

After a meeting of CLANS (Catholic Network) librarians where we had discussed social networking, I decided to create a facebook fan page for the library.  This is an attempt to engage with the students but we will maintain the page so that is current, informative and fun.  Several of the creative faculties already use facebook fan pages to communicate with students.  We also set up a twitter account which was linked to the facebook page.  This was an attempt to tackle the facebook conundrum directly and to see if, as educators we can communicate through our students’ choice of social media.  After a year of working to inform teachers of the potential of Web 2.0 in learning and assessment, I also wanted to look at my own area and how we could utilise these tools.


Head of Library Tricia Sweeney and I feel that we will use this as our main medium of communication with the girls and as a tool to showcase our web 2.0 projects such as book trailers and book blogs.

Some newspaper reports in April 2010 suggested that teachers should not ‘friend’ students on Facebook. OLMC has addressed these issues in the following way:

Our Facebook page was devised as a fan page.  Several other subject areas use the same approach, this enables students to fan the page rather than have to become a friend of the teacher.  olmclibrary facebook page has three administrators, including Tricia Sweeney as Head of Library.

We have an eSmart committee at the School which Tricia and I both sit on alongside the IT manager and the Vice Principal. We have draft protocols.

Facebook  is a good way to engage and communicate with students. Fan pages can be created in Subject areas and domains e.g. olmclibrary, media, drama and dance pages. It is not recommended that Facebook be used for assessment or assignments.  It is recommended that teachers do not ‘friend’ with students.

At OLMC the message is very strong that teachers should think very wisely about ‘friending’ current students.  Any current Facebook controversy or issue is raised at the weekly staff briefing by the Principal.

An excellent idea by Michael and Tricia to meet the students’ interests by joining Facebook, but also by setting up a number of procedures that ensure that students stay safe online.

Feature wiki – Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg – information wiki

Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg, teacher librarian Michael Jongen was inspired to introduce social media tools into the school library after hearing Will Richardson at a School Library Association of Victoria professional development day in 2009. Michael explains:

I work at OLMC Library as a teacher librarian. As part of my Professional Learning Plan for 2009 I was asked by Tricia Sweeney, Head of Library, to look at Web 2.0 and its applications in teaching and learning.

In March 2009 I attended a SLAV conference entitled Perspectives on Learning featuring Will Richardsonfrom the United States.  Will is a leading educator in the understanding and implementation of Web 2.0 strategies in schools. He argues that

‘Learning in the 21st century is all about networks and the connections we can make to other learners and teachers both in our communities and around the globe. But being literate in this new learning environment requires more than knowing how to read and write, it requires us to edit, publish, collaborate, create and connect in the process of building our own personal learning spaces’

Inspired by Will I decided to blog and work with the teachers at my school and make them aware of Web 2.0 and its potential for learning.  I started a Library Web 2.0 Wiki page on the School Portal where I explored some of the issues, tools and personalities raised by him in his keynote address and in his featured workshop. I feel that my role has been to inform, collaborate and apply, and I looked at practical examples of how social media can be incorporated into assessment or used for communication.

OLMC wiki

Tricia and I had another discussion and we decided to set up an information wiki. With the new school year just starting we will promote the wiki through our Years 7 and 8 reading programmes.

The appraisal of my year’s self learning project was on using Web 2.0 in the classroom and it was agreed that my goal in 2010 is to work in the classroom with teachers and students more often by using practical web 2.0 applications in assessment and presentation.

It is wonderful to hear that the SLAV conference held less than a year ago has had such a positive and practical impact on Michael and Our Lady of Mercy College teachers and students. Congratulations and well done Michael. Thank you to Tricia for supporting his endeavours to introduce social media to the school.

The OLMC information wiki is the first of the resources that Michael has developed that Bright Ideas will feature. I’m sure we’ll all look forward to experiencing his other efforts.