On January 20th, 2012 the A4A Social Network will become Public. Here is a short FAQ about what this means.
What does "Public" mean?
This site and all of it's pages will be viewable publicly by anyone on the internet without having to sign up and login. Users will still need to join the site in order to participate in any discussions or contribute any posts. The Network has been available for anyone to join for some time, the only difference is that now you will be able to see the Network before you join, whereas previously you had to join before you could see the Network.
Why would we want to be a public social network?
Being public will make it possible for people to find us in an internet search. It will also make it easier to share the network and particular resources with other teachers. People will be able to view the site before they decide if they want to join or not. Most importantly, we hope that making the site public will result in more teachers contributing to the site. The content of the site is valuable to any math teacher, and by making it public it will make it easier for any math teacher to access the site.
What about my personal information?
We have removed the "birthdays" box that was formerly on the front page of the Network. We also removed the "years of teaching experience" question from the sign-up process and from everyone's profile pages. Your profile information will still be visible, which includes your name and location, what school you teach at, and what subjects you teach.
Can I delete my previous posts or leave the A4A Social Network altogether?
Yes. If you go to your profile page you can see a list of discussions and other items you have posted. You can delete any of those items if you wish. You can also leave the social network completely by clicking on the "Settings" link in the upper right hand box (under your name), scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking "leave network". Any personal photos that remain on the Social Network on January 20th (excluding profile photos) will be removed before the site becomes public.
What if I have more questions or concerns?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wasn't there some sort of announcement about this?
Yes, we sent a letter to all members of the A4A Social Network on January 12, 2012. A copy of the letter is included below.
Happy 2012 to the members of the Algebra 4 All Social Network, a community of educators committed to sharing resources and supporting one another in the practice of teaching Algebra.
As of January 2012, this A4A Social Network will become a public network. Any educators anywhere, most likely secondary mathematics teachers interested in best practices for the teaching of Algebra, may join the Network. Groups of teachers from the same school, district, professional organizations, etc. are encouraged to join together and can use the “groups” feature to create private discussion areas.
As a member of the original private social network established for the Michigan Algebra for All Project, you may have posted your questions or lessons for sharing with others. These postings will stay and you may receive feedback from new members. However, if you would prefer to remove your postings, you may do so at any time. We expect that the site will go public by January 20th so this would be a target date if you want to remove something.
Note that we have already removed the birthdays area, the “years as an educator” question, and will be removing any personal photos from the photos area that remain on the 20th. If at any time you would like to leave the A4A Social Network completely, you can do so by clicking the “Settings” link under your name in the top right box of the main page. At the bottom of the settings page you will find a link to leave the A4A Social Network. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
If you have been using the site lately, you will notice that it looks a little different but it has the same great features for the teaching of Algebra: Lesson Sharing, Applets for students and teachers, the Forum, Blogs, and Media. This year we will be adding information about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Mathematical Practices for Algebra. You’ll also notice that the Network is linked to a Facebook page and Twitter account. You can now follow conversations and receive updates on the A4A Social Network using these tools.
The sponsor of the A4A Social Network is Michigan LearnPort, a division of Michigan Virtual University, that provides online learning solutions for educators with access to high-quality online courses and other resources to meet their professional development requirements. The A4A Social Network was, and continues to be, funded by Michigan LearnPort. You and your colleagues will be supported by a LearnPort Team of four (4) Network Moderators, an MVU Instructional Designer, and a Project Manager. These individuals have developed and supported teachers in using the Network since its launch in 2009.
There are directions for using the Network on the “Getting Started” page under the “About” tab or the appropriate Network Moderator can provide assistance in training you. As we move forward, please check the site often and join in the conversations and post your work.
Best Wishes for a productive and exciting 2012 in your Algebra classrooms. Don’t forget...