For an upcoming book I'm writing, I'm looking for teachers who are using MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or some other social networking forum in their teaching. Obviously, these sites are controversial, and that's why, I think, I'm having difficulty finding teachers who are using them in an educational setting. I have lots of examples of teachers who use blogs and wikis, but I'm not finding many examples of teachers who use social networking sites that are commonly used outside of schools. Any assignment ideas would be welcome and you will be credited in my book!

Tags: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, networking, social

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Sounds great! Do you participate on Facebook, or is this something that the students have set up on their own?
I "drop by" sometimes to see how the FB study sessions are going. My Model UN club has a FB page as well and I use it for communicating with the club often. It actually makes it easy because the students never miss a message because they're on so much.

By the way, I am friends with many students on FB but my policy is never to post anything I would feel uncomfortable showing my principle or a parent,. But that's the same policy I use if I see a student at a restaurant or anywhere else in public (where I would say hi to them without a thought.) I don't see how a social netwok message is any different. In general, I'm not one to avoid communicating with students on FB providing common sense is used.
At the Royal Conservatory, I do a lot of scheduling with my teenage and adult students using Facebook with a combination of Facebook email and wall-to-wall posting. Since social networking is such a part of ordinary life in the Toronto arts world, it's also a good way to connect students with concerts and events.
It seems that only in the U.S. are there such fears of making use of social networks in schools. It's too bad because, as you point out, it's so much a part of ordinary life for so many people, even if they're not in the arts!
And my students seem to have an innate knack for what the boundaries are in dealing with friends from different strata on Facebook. What I find interesting is that many administrators at the school where I teach are extremely reluctant to friend faculty.
Against advise from the union I have kept my myspace and facebook. I only add students after they graduate. I do add parents. I use myspace as a way to communicate with some of the parents. It isn't something as serious as a letter, email or phone call, but it is still reaching out to a parent. It is a nice way of "keeping up" with the family over the breaks.
I admire your courage! Have you ever had any complaints from anyone other than the union? I'm in final revisions for my book, but might want to set up a phone interview with you in a couple weeks.
Hi,
I teach seventh grade civics and geography and last year for my geography course we used Ning (social network site) to collaborate, blog, and explore the different cultures around the world. The students' pages were all built around exhibiting the knowledge they gained about other cultures. It was a great experience!
Niki Lincoln
I am currently using twitter along with several of my collegues. You can find a large list of educators using twitter on this wiki called twitter4teachers I hope this helps and would like to read your book when you get it completed so let me know.
William,

Hi. I was actually just invited to give a talk on social networking for teaching and learning purposes, at the Association of Educational Publishers annual summit. So, I'll be very interested to find out what you learn.

Andy

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