Private group facilitation in the Hāpara Community Follow
In this article:
We are excited that you are interested in facilitating a group for your school or district!
The Hāpara Community is a fantastic place to connect with other teachers who are using Hāpara. It can be a little intimidating starting out, though, to teachers who are not accustomed to networking. That’s why we offer the private groups option.
Private groups are a safe space for teachers to begin engaging in conversations with other Hāpara educators in their own school or district. Over time, we hope this will give them the confidence they need to explore the Hāpara Community beyond your school or district group.
It’s completely up to you how you decide to use your private group and share it with others in your school or district. The purpose of this guide is to help you think through some of the possibilities. Don’t worry if you aren’t ready to decide on all of this now. It’s easy to make changes to your private group and its settings.
Hāpara has already created a private group for your school or district. Our community guidelines stipulate that each group must include at least one Hāpara employee. Our intent is not to spy on conversations — but to make sure we are on top of things if there is an issue and our community guidelines are being followed.
If you don’t have access to your private group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the General Settings, you’ll set up the basic information about your group.
While you are certainly welcome to have multiple groups for your school or district, we hope you will consider the numerous benefits of having a single group for your entire school or district. The most obvious benefit is that there are more opportunities for interaction when a group is larger.
Use the following steps to add information about your group.
The Big Stuff section
1. Type a Group Title into the text box.
2. Then type a Group Tagline and Group Description. Use these to state the purpose of your group.
The Small Stuff details
1. Type a Group Website into the text box or leave it empty. This might be useful if you have a shared site where you’ve curated PD resources.
2. Select a Group Location or leave it empty. It can only be set to a city/town, not a specific building.
Group Branding section
In Group Branding, there are several ways you can customize your private group.
1. Click the Manage menu.
2. Upload a group image or video.
3. Select a custom color (Why not try to coordinate this with your logo?)
All Member Chat feature
The All Member Chat feature can be left off or toggled on. This is a good place for more casual conversations to take place.
Important: Keep the Privacy set to Secret.
The privacy setting for your group has been set to secret and should not be changed for a couple of reasons. First, if it was set to public or private, it would be visible to everyone when they search for groups. Also, you don’t want to be barraged with requests to join from people outside of your school or district.
Incoming Group Members section
Invite your teachers to join the Hāpara Community first.
Then invite them to join your group.
Since your group is secret, you do have to invite members. Once they join, the group will be visible to them in the Groups section.
1. Click on the Invite button to blast a customized message to your staff.
2. Click Sent Invites to check on the status of the invites you’ve sent.
Current group members
1. Click Member List to see everyone who has joined your group.
2. Click Welcome New Members to welcome them with a single click! This is helpful if you have dozens of new members to greet.
3. Click Message All Members to easily message everyone in your group.
4. Click Download Members List to download a list of your group members.
Quick Posts and articles
There are two basic content types that can be shared:
1. Quick Posts — these can be text, images, links or other content that your members can quickly share
2. Articles — these allow people to share richer content. We recommend turning this setting on.
Note: a Quick Post can be converted to an article prior to posting.
Polls and questions
There are several types of Polls and Questions that can be created using this feature. This is a fast and fun way to engage with group members. (We love the Hot Cold Polls!)
Note that you most likely will have to respond to the poll yourself before seeing other responses.
You can also determine who has the ability to post polls and questions. We prefer not to limit this, but it’s up to you!
The Events feature is perfect for sharing events like lunch and learns, PD events, webinars and any other type of event you want your staff to know about.
Once an event is created, people can RSVP and even have a conversation on the event page.
Topics, similar to tagging, are something we highly recommend using! You can use them to help keep content organized and increase searchability.
As the facilitator, you get to determine the topics that best fit your district. We recommend starting with a few general ones then adding more as needed.
You can also add an image for each of your topics as well as a brief description. (We love using canva.com to create images and easily customize them to fit perfectly.)
Welcome Section content
The Welcome Section is where you can “pin” content that you want to make sure members see when they join your group. They will see this section when they click the Discover button.
You can also include a welcome post, where you can reiterate the purpose of the group.
Featured Section content
The Featured Section is another place that surfaces when a member clicks the Discover button. Content can be pinned here as well.
This is a great place to add content for certain people to see. An idea for using this section is to recognize teachers who are doing great things. Or you can share an article that you want to make sure everyone sees.
- Encourage staff to use your group as a hub for discussing Hāpara, Chromebooks, Google and anything related to tech integration.
- Getting staff to join and participate can be tricky! One way to engage teachers is to use the group as a tool for staff meetings. Meeting agendas could be shared in your group. Or staff members could be asked to reflect in the group as a way to wrap up a meeting. Or both!
- Direct teachers to your group to ask questions and encourage others to provide answers.
- Encourage your staff to join other groups in the Hāpara Community or connect with other customers. It’s a fantastic networking opportunity!
- The Hāpara Community also has free, self-paced courses that you can access and complete at your own pace. Join one of the courses and get to know the basics of Hāpara and how you can use it in your classroom. The courses are made up of short videos, printable diagrams, reflection questions and more. Feel free to share these resources with other educators in your school or district.
Do you have questions or suggestions? We’d be glad to hear from you!
Email us at email@example.com.