Tech Task #2 – Facebook in the Classroom

21 Jan

Should Facebook be used in the Classroom?

This is a question I have been asking myself for the past few years.  I have heard many different opinions about the use of Facebook in the classroom and am still in the process of forming my own.  I can see some positives of Facebook but yet I see many negatives, as well.  I have researched both sides and also posted a question on my personal Facebook page (one of the positives of Facebook since people actually replied!)  I would like to begin my sharing some of the comments I received when I posed this question:

Do you think Facebook should be used in the classroom?  Why or why not?

 “I used to think if you set up a ‘teacher’ facebook account that it could be beneficial, however, I began to think how much do you want to know about your students outside of school? When you have that kind of access to the personal/social lives of your students there is increased moral responsibility, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want the responsiblity of knowing that some kid is planning to get wasted on Friday, or being expected to police things like cyber bullying etc online. We’re already expected to do so much more than we are required; accessing students’ facebook would add to your responsibilities.”
 ”I personally would not use Facebook in the classroom. I feel that there are so many applications on the internet to use to stay connected with your class that would be probably more beneficial and appropriate than Facebook. Facebook focuses too much on personal information, so I don’t think teachers and students should be part of each other’s Facebook experience.”

I actually did not receive any comments that supported the idea of using Facebook in the classroom.  Here are a few arguments against and for using Facebook in the classroom.  I collected these ideas from a variety of sources and will link them when possible (I will not be able to link you to my friends’ pages or conversations I had with people face-to-face)

Arguments Against Facebook:
Students may become distracted by their friends on Facebook instead of getting their work completed.  This idea is addressed in this article.  It also discusses some of the pros of Facebook in the classroom. Note: This article discusses Facebook in a University classroom but is still applicable.
     ♦ Teachers should not have the added responsibility of monitoring what their students are doing on Facebook.  They are already responsible for so much and the benefits of Facebook do not override all of the risks of using it in the classroom.
     ♦ Teachers have access to so many great resources other than Facebook.  Teachers should not have to include something so controversial in their classroom.
     ♦ Some students or teachers may use Facebook inappropriately.  An example of when this has occurred over Facebook can be found here.

Arguments for Facebook:
     ♦ Many students are interested in Facebook and know how to use it.  Teachers should always try to meet the needs and interests of their students.
     ♦ Facebook does not cause inappropriate behaviour – people need to start taking responsibility for their own actions.  Check out this blog post to read more.
     ♦ Facebook provides teachers with innovative ways to teach and learn; tools that are not available in a traditional classroom.  This blog gives 100 examples!
     ♦ The only way we can advance Education is if we move forward and try new ways to teach our students.  The idea of using Facebook in the classroom may seem risky, but it could be worth it!

I am still unsure of my stance on using Facebook in the classroom.  I agree that Facebook is an innovative and engaging way to teach students but I also can see the risks.  There are many great tools that we could use instead of Facebook but I’m not sure if students would be as interested. I know that I would use Facebook appropriately but I cannot guarantee that my students would.  I would be become responsible for them but that’s my job! I want to teach my students how to become responsible and respectful individuals.  Instead of ignoring the bullying that is happening over Facebook, I could take action and make a difference in my students’ lives.  I believe that we must teach the whole child and that involves how to act appropriately in all situations.  Hmm, I see myself leaning towards the idea of Facebook in the classroom.  I want to move forward in Education and maybe that does involve using Facebook in the classroom. I am still unsure. Please leave your ideas on Facebook in the classroom in the comments section below.

I wanted to share a video that was created by a teacher I worked with during my internship.  She took a course from Alec last year and is the “Tech Teacher” of the school.  Enjoy!

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy blog post. 🙂




One Response to “Tech Task #2 – Facebook in the Classroom”

  1. Danielle Degelman January 24, 2011 at 9:35 PM #

    Hey Melissa!

    I wrote about the exact same thing and I personally believe that Facebook doesn’t have a place in the classroom. I always think to myself, “If I can’t be friends with students in the classroom, then why should I be friends with them on Facebook?” However, I really like the points that you listed for both sides and they were interesting to consider! See you soon!

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