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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