Facebook Goes Back to ‘Schools’

A long, long time ago—about two years—students filled Facebook and found and “friended” others who were taking the same courses. They shared information and tips. Then in 2006 Facebook was opened up to nonstudents, and class interests got crowded out.

A new Facebook program aims to bring it back, allowing members to view their courses and chat with classmates and friends that have opted in to the program. The new wrinkle: the program is going to run through the universities, with information fed into Facebook by the registrar’s office once students give permission.

PC World reports that students who join the program, called Schools, can view their course calendar, and if they add or drop a course, changes will be reflected in Facebook as soon as the registrar’s office reports them. Schools also includes communication tools for student groups such as teams and residence halls. Each organization, class, and friend has a page within Schools where students can interact with people.

The program comes from a small company called Inigral, which already has a student-controlled course calendar on Facebook called, predictably, Courses. But Schools aims to be more of a social network within the Facebook social network, and the company is now testing it at Abilene Christian University in Texas. —Josh Fischman

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