Facebook and Education

I come to Facebook late and have some feelings similar to Doug Johnson.

 

However, our district recently opened access to Facebook through our filter. The district did it specifically to track seniors for several years after they graduate to see if we as a district are doing as good a job as we think we are. That is a very good reason to do anything. Therefore, because our department has had some recent success with staff development with teachers (Student Products for the 21st Centaury and Library2Play) some principals ask us to develop some classes on Facebook so teachers would know what it is and what they might or might not do with it.

 

We were asked to teach on these 5 statements:

 

Appropriate and inappropriate uses at school

Teaching appropriate digital presence on the social networking web

Sample lessons using social networking sites

Monitoring student use

Suggested consequences for inappropriate use of Facebook

 

We started with discussions with our Librarians. We did a little research. We found websites, postings, how to videos, and articles. We created our own Facebook accounts. And we have begun to teach the class.

 

Our first class session went very well. It was so clear who knew anything about Facebook by the age of the teacher. I know this is not always the case, but in our first class the less than 30 year old teacher had an account and taught us some things in the discussion. The 40 plus teacher really did not know what Facebook was until half way through the class. We would like to think that she has a better idea now.

 

Our class is not designed to convince people of all the wonderful uses Facebook has in the classroom, but to present a fairly neutral overview of what it is and some possible uses. Now I understand what Cool Cat Teacher has been saying about wishing Facebook would allow us to have separate “Walls”: one for professional or educational uses and one for personal or family uses, etc… And if I understand Facebook as well as I do Nings, then probably almost any use a teacher might design for Facebook could be done just as well with a Ning.

 

Anyway, I am appreciative of the district wanting to track students after they leave to see if we are making a difference. I am appreciative that the district is pleased about our staff development. And I am appreciative that we had the enforced opportunity to learn about something that I think I need to know about.

 

Check out our class notes and give us suggestions on how to make it even better:

http://socialnetworkingandeducation.pbwiki.com/Facebook+Class

 

5 Comments Already

  1. BSL said:
    November 13, 2008 at 6:18 pm     Permalink

    I completely agree about the need for the professional and personal “wall” on Facebook. There is not 1 statement on my Facebook account that I consider inappropriate, but I do think there is a line of professionalism that is crossed on a Social Networking site such as Facebook. I love FB, but I will soon have 2 Facebook accounts… 1 for my personal friends and family, and 1, under a separate work email, for my professional exploration and use. Just as with email and phone calls and “contract time”, it’s important to separate professional and personal. Just my feeling. Take note, though… I am THRILLED that the district is moving in this direction. It makes me a proud LMS.

  2. Brooke said:
    November 22, 2008 at 9:12 pm     Permalink

    We discussed the idea of opening up facebook to students in our districts during a discussion in one of my LIS classes the other night. We found one really great use for students- They can create a “profile” for historical figures. You can search one that was made for George Washington- it included famous quotes, education and work information, and other applications written from his point of view. Some of this took quite a bit of effort and a lot of research on their part!

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