Monday, January 30, 2012

Facing the Book

A book full of faces, how strange is that?
Is it all just your friends or also the cat?
A picture of you and your friends on this space
Connecting with words but not face to face.

So, why should I be on Facebook? Personally and professionally - what can it do for me?

Will Richardson (2010) suggests that:
"whether we like it or not, if we're working with kids in schools, we have a responsibility to understand what Facebook is all about, even if it's just to the extent that we participate there for ourselves." (p. 132) 
This is where I am coming from right now - everyone is using Facebook, so I need to understand it and know what it is all about. Although they are too young to actually have Facebook accounts, I know that there are students at my elementary school who have them. Many of my friends use Facebook to communicate and I know that most parents at my school use it.

What else should I be thinking about as I explore Facebook?

In Why #Educators Should Use Social Media, Anne O'Brien suggests the following major points:

  • communication - with parents
  • public relations - highlighting successes
  • branding - of the school and its name
  • professional growth and development - communicating with PLN
  • student engagement - innovative projects using social media
  • opportunities - connections throughout the world
In The Why and How of Using Facebook for Educators - No Need to be Friends at All!, Ronnie Burt suggests different ways of using Facebook, including how to safely "friend" students so that they do not see the rest of your personal information and communications. He also suggests setting up a separate page to connect with students or a "fan" page that can be used to disseminate information or setting up a Facebook "group" for students.

Here is a quick video that shows how to alter your privacy settings:

While I am going to stick with using Facebook personally for the moment, if I end ever end up teaching at a high school again, I can see that Facebook may be come part of my teaching life as well. Having students so connected in this way, it only makes sense to tap into this method of communication as a teacher.

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

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