A discussion suggesting ways in which Facebook can be viewed as an Educational Tool for Schools has brought clearer understanding of its importance in education.  Please take a read and make your comments as you see necessary.  A link is provided for the discussion.

http://www.ictworks.org/news/2010/12/03/4-reasons-why-facebook-educ...

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I have some reservations for the use of Facebook as an Educational Tool. Here are some my reasons:-

In its present state, too many postings are filled with degrading information.

  • Students use it to bully other students.
  • One can become adicted to its use.
  • Others are known to use the information on this social media to cause harm to people.

Here is a link that was posted on twitter by EdTechSandyK with a letter from a school who is admonishing parents to ban their children from facebook. It also includes the ills that have been done to others.

http://edtechsandyk.blogspot.com/2012/03/trying-to-ban-facebook-is-...

I too feel that facebook has too may negatives to outweigh the positives.  I do a whole unit on internet safety and cyber bullying.  Facebook is always discussed when teaching this unit.  Not only is facebook used to bully or belittle some it can also get teachers who interact with students on facebook in big trouble.  There are too many stories about teachers and students to convince me that having a facebook where you interact with students is ok.  Students don't have boundaries and don't think before they act.  I think that facebook is too dangerous to be used and an educational tool.

Hi Stacey:
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I understand your position because we have been bombarded with awful reports about the misuse of Facebook but I still believe that with careful management it can add to our delivery as an educational tool. Using it loosely can definitely result in some unpleasant situations that we as educators can do without.
Hi Clarita:

I understand the fear that an educator can have after hearing some terrible stories about students and their FB usage. However, we can relate to times prior to Facebook and remember that bullying were also a thing of the past. Lots of things that were created for good can be turned around and used for evil. We can also find reports of positive outcomes from the use of FB. As educators we have got to be mindful of the pitfalls and endeavor to prevent them if we decide to use Facebook as an educator's tool. Many social media if left to itself can have similar results - proper monitoring and education must be at the heart of this new way of teaching/learning.
Revisit the link that you provided and you will observe several interesting suggestions on the importance of FB as educational tool.

Respectfully, I don't think that we can justify not using Facebook as an education tool simply because it can be used in a negative way. Computers can be used in a negative way, as can the Internet, and virtually every other form of technology that is available. While Facebook does have its negatives, I think they are outweighed by the positives.

Hi Ryan
I am in agreement with you because we can identify other negative tools that we rely on daily to assist us with delivery of information within our field of work. I think that proper planning, monitoring and education can help us to better manage its use as an educational tool.

Absolutely. You could argue about the negatives with any technology form. One thing that technology has not changed in our classrooms is the fact that we need to actively monitor what our students are doing, as well as clearly define the expectations that they are expected to adhere to. I would rather not deny them an interactive education based on the fact that one or two students might stray from what you have asked them to do.

I agree with using FB in teaching. I know that there are negative sides but since I can reach my students faster through FB, I continue to use it for educational purposes. I think it gives the students the mood that "it's cool to do this stuff (assignment)" because it's in FB. Furthermore, I tried using a different site for my classroom extensions but I did not get 100% participation. Perhaps it's because they need further training in using the site. So another advantage of using FB is many students know how it works already.  

Hi Starrie.  I think that the reasons on the link are valid but I think there are other options that are more secure for students like http://www.edmodo.com/ .  It's set up like Facebook.  Teachers can set it up and monitor posts, users that have access, etc.  

For my district it would be impossible to use Facebook because it is blocked.  We have in the past used a template based on Facebook for students to share information they have learned.

Hi Leah
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us. However, I would encourage and applaud you for your creativeness in finding an alternative to learning.

I do think that we shouldn't shy away from a powerful tool such as Facebook just because there can be negatives to it. I'm reading a book right now called From Fear to Facebook and I highly recommend it. Although I'm not that far along in the book, it starts off discussing the importance of an AUP and student buy-in with rules and regulations. Here is another interesting site I found regarding this topic.

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