Could Facebook be used in an educational setting?

Possibly…. but it would take a very dedicated teacher to try it!
I am not trying to dissuade people from the idea – I am all for trying to integrate new technologies if they are useful, if they can do something that no other means can, if they achieve growth in information literacy, if they are safe….

but to use Facebook in an educational setting, you would have to keep an eye on usage the entire time, to make sure it was not being used innappropriately. Teachers could post homework assignments on their students’ walls, post educational videos, websites they wanted their students to check out – they could use it to stimulate conversation or debate between students out of school hours, or to invite expert (who also had facebook accounts) to share their thoughts or ideas.

However I am just not sure if it would be manageable – the advantage of being able to post to all with one click is definitely there, but how would you be able to monitor or delete inappropriate posts? I myself am only really a facebook beginner, so the questions I am asking are not ones I have answers too – maybe there is an easy way that I have not discovered yet. I know companies like Flight Centre are encouraging their employees to use Facebook to maintain good client relationships, and communication between staff – again, it is about using webware in a way that wins for everyone – if people are going to access facebook during work/school hours, why not make it work for you?

One thing is clear – we need to keep on top of these things and continually explore the possibilities they present, because they are changing the way people socialise and communicate – and as social organisations based on communication (I’m talking about schools, here!!) I think it is pretty necessary we don’t bury our heads in the sand!!

So…. any suggestions? How would you use facebook in the classroom? Have you used it? Did it work? Was it too hard to monitor? I’m looking forward to the answers rolling in 😉

Kay

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. matt
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 00:34:25

    Hi Kay, thanks for commenting on my blog!

    In my opinion, Facebook could work in the classroom. MySpace would be unlikely to work as it is a lot more for school aged children.

    If Facebook was to be used just as a discussion board, then I would not use it. The posts should be alright to manage. Students would recognise it is more of a professional part of the web and anything they post will be seen by the teacher and entire class.

    The advantage Facebook has over a system like WebCT/Blackboard is that you would have a greater chance of students accessing it outside of the classroom. Students may initially just be in it for the ‘poking’ and other little features that are part of it, but by using Facebook for that, they will at a point stumble across their class group and realise that work is due.

    As a result, it would be useful for teachers to post important messages on the group page, or even mass email all members of the group.

    A key to Facebook in education, in my opinion, is that it is (or will become) a small part of a student’s life and that they will also recognise their part in the class group by regular use of the site.

    Reply

  2. esoliman
    Oct 03, 2007 @ 01:19:33

    yes it may be hard to monitor but it does not have to be used for everything the teacher could dedicate say a project using facebook or using web2.0 tools. Computers are more evident in classrooms today and soon some students will be taking their laptops to school and leaving their workbooks at home. In my opinion teachers need to keep up with the technological advancements.

    Reply

  3. Mike
    Feb 28, 2009 @ 22:01:48

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    _________________________________
    Making Money $150 An Hour

    Reply

  4. Nancy
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 06:04:31

    I am interested in using facebook with my middle school students with an educational purpose. My worry is that if a student posts something on their page that is illegal, then I would be required as a mandatory reporter to report it to the authorities. Any thoughts?

    Reply

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