Daytime and a Facebook discussion

Good afternoon SCH,

I just glanced at my calendar and noticed that we are upon the last week of our first month of school, wow!  The beginning of the school-year has been hectic, albeit a productive one for innovation and technology, with so much more to come!  Before I begin a post dedicated primarily to one of the most pervasive topics in the world of technology today…Facebook, I’ll post this week’s Daytime offerings so I don’t get yelled at about having to read through my posts to get to the most important part of Daytime, which of course, is when I’ll be available to answer your printer questions…(sarcasm folks)  I’m actually chuckling at my desk right now (not LOL’ing, which I think is used far too often these days, if you watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” there was a great episode dedicated to this topic this season.  I’d love to post a video, but I don’t think it would be safe for work).

At any rate, I’ll be available for Daytime:

Cherokee Campus – Tuesday – Day 1 from 11-12 in the Carpenter Gallery.

Willow Grove Campus – Wednesday – Day 2 from 12-1.

As always, if these time slots do not work for you, please let me know when and where you would like to meet on an individual basis.

On to the topic that seems to come up more than anything in my world….FACEBOOK!  This past summer we ran a “Social Media” digital playground where one of our main focus points was FB.  I prepared a rather cool Prezi with a funny video (at least I thought so) and some wild statistics, but what I ultimately found was that not many people were interested….HUH? This became a strange moment for me, at first I thought “why the heck isn’t everybody here clapping and cheering for my amazing presentation??” then I thought “are teachers really not interested in Facebook?” I kept thinking about this, and two months later, it’s still on my mind.  My first answer is an obvious one…we block Facebook (although it is now open for faculty), case closed.  But is it?  What would happen if FB was available to both faculty & students?  Anarchy or Innovation?  Included below are several links to articles including arguments for both sides of the FB discussion as well as some astounding statistics on the use of the social network.

Below is a link to an article posted by Ian Jukes written by Sharon Noguchi, San Jose Mercury News that discusses some of the problems that coincide with the use of social networks, as well as a few strategies to combat such issues.  A sentence that really caught my attention in this article is a quote from Keith Krueger, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Consortium for School Networking, “For adults, Krueger said the challenge is to help alter the online conversation and not to ban the technology.”

Educators Combat Crude Culture of Social Networks

 

It’s pretty clear to me that social media isn’t going away anytime soon, students (and many educators) live in FB, check out this video that includes some astounding FB statistics:

With that said, the question becomes, how can we leverage the use of such a powerful tool in the classroom?  There is a valid argument that implies social media makes bullying much easier for those so inclined to do so.  Conversely, there are some (ME!!) that would argue that we can handle this by teaching digital citizenship and enforcing rules against such activity.  Furthermore, that social media can be used to promote collaboration amongst groups of friends rather than cliques where bullying often takes place.  Here’s a snippet from the preceding article demonstrating how a few institutions are handling such problems:

“The Santa Clara County Office of Education has set up an anti-bullying task force. The Silicon Valley Interschool Council, composed of high school students, hopes to launch a campaign encouraging students to counter cyber-bullying.

Newly signed legislation, sponsored by Nora Campos, D-San Jose, Calif., enables schools to suspend students who bully others on social networks. Among others, the Oakland Unified School District is considering a policy to specifically prohibit cyber-bullying.

In the Santa Clara Unified School District, for example, all sixth- through 12th-grade students attend a tech literacy course, including digital citizenship and safety. And the district is piloting elementary school curriculum.

Students are taught about building their online reputation, said Kathie Kanaval, educational technology coordinator.”

Below are a few of links promoting the use of social media in the classroom:

50 Reasons to Invite Facebook into your classroom

100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook In Your Classroom

4 Tips for Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom

Facebook in the Classroom.  Seriously.

How To Use Facebook Questions In The Classroom

100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom

 

Here are a couple of YouTube videos dedicated to using Facebook in the classroom:

 

The Basics of a Facebook Page for Educators

 

Concerned about Privacy? Privacy on Facebook for Educators

 

Setting Up a Facebook Group for Your Class

 

I’m open to discuss any of these topics and hopefully figure out a way to implement some of these tools in your classroom.  Stay tuned as I’m going to see if I can get a few student opinions regarding the use of FB in the classroom.  Maybe even a guest Daytime blogger!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 responses to “Daytime and a Facebook discussion

  1. Hey Vince,

    I’m a FB addict myself and I love what it does for me in terms of keeping up with my professional colleagues as well as my friends. However, I’m concerned about a different angle on the privacy thing. FB is free because they make their money selling the information they learn about me. I’m okay with that. It’s a tradeoff I can live with. I’m not okay with requiring my students, as minors, to make that same trade off. The issue for me with FB isn’t who can see what, it’s that none of it is private in the commonly understood sense of the term. If I read the fine print correctly, everything I put up on FB becomes their property. In theory, if I post a syllabus I wrote on FB, I owe them a royalty the next time I use that syllabus. I haven’t seen this tested in a court of law yet, but I think it raises some complicated issues that Ning (for example) gets around.

  2. My concern about Facebook being opened in school is the distraction it would cause when a class is not using it for productive purposes. If there were a password that faculty could have to open fb during classes where it is being used productively and blocked the rest of the time, that would be fine. The availability would expire in 50 minutes (we could work out the details, I’m sure.) I am not interested in policing the students during class as to whether they were paying attention taking notes or playing on fb.

  3. As I read and listened to some of the reasons to use FB, I thought, we already have those same things in place, where to find an assignment, set up class notes, blog, instant message, etc. It does seem that FB is trying to corner the social media market by including professional and educational aspects. Do we want to put all our eggs in one basket? Is that more efficient? I didn’t see an overarching reason to use it instead of what we have currently, other than statistics stating how may people are already on FB, but students will go where the information is. The students do not need us to teach them how to use social media and moral use should be a part of any responsible technology practice. I like the separation of social and educational technologies.

  4. I agree that the ability to hold electronic discussions, share files, take data with polls, and interact with material is powerful. I also do all of that work already… on Haiku, which we all use, and our students know, and is integrated into their Google account. Teaching MS, there are a number of students who aren’t allowed to have FB accounts, and I would hate to require it of them in order to participate in a class that, really, does everything Facebook does already.

  5. Haiku us AWESOME! No question about it, I’m merely discussing the potential for social media in the classroom. Given that our kids live there, it’s an opportunity to engage them with a tool that they use and love. Ellen, you bring up a good point, and it doesn’t just have to be Facebook, Edmodo is a great tool and there are so many others. Here’s a link that talks about embedding content from other sites into Haiku – http://support.haikulearning.com/entries/33729-t-embedding-content-from-other-sites

  6. Another potential opportunity with the use of social media in the classroom is the potential to connect with friends and other students to form study groups and share resources. Facebook has recently partnered with Hoot and Grockit to do just this. Here’s a link to a MindShift article that says Grockit released research this year that shows that students who study together on Grockit do twice as much work — and get answers correct more often — as students who study alone. http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/grockit-and-facebook-friends-at-last/

    Hoot.me – http://hoot.me/ – is a Facebook application that turns the social networking site into “study mode.” Here’s a snippet from another MindShift article:

    Like other Facebook apps, Hoot.me keeps you inside Facebook but moves you away from your wall and news feed. Instead of the typical Facebook prompt, “What’s on your mind?” Hoot.me asks its users “What are you working on?” From there, students can join the live study sessions on that topic.

    These sessions can use group video-conferencing, which Facebook itself doesn’t yet offer, as well as the “smart chat” function. Smart chat allows you to type mathematical formulas in English, which are then automatically translated into mathematical notation. A screen-sharing option is coming soon, too.

    http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/distractions-set-aside-facebook-as-a-study-tool/
    http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/grockit-and-facebook-friends-at-last/

  7. One of the other reasons that I’m hesitant to use FB in class, especially given that Haiku offers a lot of the same advantages, is that I think it is bad life modeling to integrate personal and work lives so completely. When you turn FB into a school tool, there’s one more place that kids no longer have for themselves. Quite frankly, I’m looking for more and more ways to have my personal and professional lives separated more clearly and the trend towards always being on call for employers is one of the most disturbing trends in the bigger picture of the ongoing attempt of employers to control their workers as much as possible. I know it sounds like these things aren’t related but quite frankly, I’m glad I’m not on FB with my current students (although I enjoy FBing with former students) and I would resent if school moved into that realm as well. I think it’s important to remind kids that their work (school) isn’t their life and vice-versa and that we need reminding of that too.

  8. I’m not a proponent of blocking sites, for a few reasons. First, it turns into a cat-and-mouse game that, in my opinion, wastes the time and resources of classroom teachers and especially the technology department and makes the blocked sites even more appealing to students. (The morning that the current filter went up, a student proudly showed me that he’d already figured out a way to get past the filter and log into Facebook. I think he spent more time trying to flout the rule than he did actually using Facebook, much less doing school work.) Second, while I can see wanting to put some limitations on the use of laptops for students in, say, grades 7-9 (who are just getting used to having them), upperclassmen (who will soon be off at college, with absolutely no limitations) can and should be taking responsibility for their own time management now. Finally, while some kids get distracted by Facebook, others get distracted by chat, by games, etc. We’ll never block all of the time-wasters, and just blocking the ones that are easiest to restrict (i.e., we can block a website, but not a game that’s installed on the computer) feels pretty arbitrary to the user.

    All that being said, I agree wholeheartedly with what David wrote this morning. Some people may be comfortable having one e-mail address for all personal and work/school messages, for instance, but I’d guess most of us feel strongly about keeping them separate. Sure, social media *can* have work/school applications . . . but I don’t think it’s any healthier for work/school to take over our social lives than vice versa.

  9. “Like” FB doesn’t necessarily mean FB itself. The funny thing about kids is that if you go where they are, a lot of times they’ll run away to someplace new just b/c you aren’t there. If FB becomes too much like school, they’ll just go someplace else. Which brings me to a second point. A lot of the posts you’ve linked to recently have emphasized getting kids ready for the workplace and I agree that’s important. But that’s not our only job. We also have to create kids who are better fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters and can advocate for things beyond the workplace that are important to them. And to do that, they have to be able to explore the world beyond work (or their current work which is school). They need time and space to do that. We have a responsibility to give it to them.

    i’m not interested in producing happy workers. I’m interested in producing kids that if they are unhappy, can change their workplaces, lives, worlds, social relations etc. to their visions of what a just and righteous world looks like. FB might be a tool for that (if it’s still around in 15 years – yeah AOL, I’m looking at you), but teaching a kid to use FB is pointless if they don’t know what they are using it for. And quite frankly, the preliminary research on social networking and social change are slim and they don’t agree. The best studies seems to suggest weak to no effects. (Tunisia being the strongest case so far, and Syria doing a complete bypass in favor of satelite phones, and failure in Iran.).

    Can we get an occasional article by a technoskeptic as well as all the technofuturist articles. Too often the technofuturists appear to have a product or service to sell that we don’t need/ain’t buying or are just plainly ignorant about similar claims about new technologies revolutionizing education that were made for television, film strips, radio, etc. and why those technologies didn’t do that.

    I really appreciate all the work that you all have done and that you are so open to dialogue.

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