Thursday, December 30, 2010

Facebook, Friends, and Formalities

Facebook is currently the most popular social network around the globe. It began as a college network that brought together friends, acquaintances, and strangers from colleges around the United States. Now, you no longer have to be a part of a college network! Anyone can join Facebook and connect finding childhood, grade school, college, and work friends. You can even "friend" your family if you so dare! You can share your status, pictures, events, groups, common interests, and life in general. Friends can like what you've shared or are doing and comment on everything!

On a side note, if you have not see the movie The Social Network, you should check it out; it is a great description of how Facebook came about and the changes it made along the way.

If you have no idea what Facebook is you should check out the video below for some of its benefits and how to use it! 


We all know that Facebook is pretty much blocked in our county, but it doesn't hurt to think of some of the potential uses (see article from 3rd class) in case we can ever use it in the classroom (you could probably use it at home but there would be some boundaries because it would be "outside of the classroom").

At my school we do use Facebook to create groups for clubs and sports. The kids can get on and check updates, announcements, and pictures from various events. It is nice to be able to send a message to an entire group of students in Spanish club or Spanish National Honor Society because sometimes the kids do not check their email, but they do check Facebook! I know the yearbook teacher also uses it as an easy way to collect pictures throughout the year. Many of our staff members are on Facebook as well; I know some people would not want to "friend" their co-workers, but I know that I have nothing to hide and that I do not post anything inappropriate online. I also love my co-workers! We have created a great community where we all share each others' lives and are there for support! 

Some other uses of Facebook in schools could include:
  • updates for parents on a regular basis (with or without pictures...definitely some privacy issues there though!)
  • a community for the PTSA/PTA to promote events, fundraisers, and announcements
  • story-telling through pictures where students could write in captions or paragraphs under the comments section
  • teaching online etiquette and how to talk to and respond to each other
  • corresponding with other classes around the globe since time differences can make programs like Skype impractical
  • collaborating on school projects by sharing pictures, videos, ideas, and other information
If Facebook is not for you, check out some of the other social networks that include Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, and to name just a few of the hundreds that are out there.

Check back later for some of the potential dangers with Facebook and other social networking sites.


  1. Leslie -

    I think the article that we read in class about using Facebook in a Kindergarten classroom for keeping parents posted about what was happening in school was such a cool idea. I am sure that we could find so many great ways to use Facebook or other social networking sites in positive ways, if only the school system would loosen its reigns a bit. As teachers, we need to be involved in teaching kids how to use all the web 2.0 capabilities in meaningful and productive ways, not making such applications taboo.

  2. Leslie,
    You are right, there are many potential uses for facebook that we probably won't be able to explore anytime in the near future because it is blocked. I remember being one of the first users of Facebook while I was at Boston University. BU was the second school after Harvard that was allowed access and my classmates and I all joined in as a way to all discuss topics in our classes in a "local" forum. I never dreamed that it would turn into such a global force in the world today that it has become. It would be nice if there was a secure way to allow our students to have access to a "school" page.

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  4. Even though I am somewhat anti-Facebook, the article we read about a class having a page was interesting. Still, I doubt it is something I would do. Admittedly, I do not know much about the inner-workings of Facebook and how exactly it could lead to problems, but I have my suspicions. Plus, I have gotten along fine without a Facebook account. It reminds me of a teacher I know who had a parent create a class website. The teacher didn't really ask, but gave permission when asked. I have since seen the site, and believe that too much information has been posted. Full student names as well as some contact information has been posted on the site. I informed the teacher that I thought this was a mistake, but I am not really sure if anything has been done. I like to err on the safe side, and don't really plan to learn much more about the Facebooks. I'm not trying to knock anyone who uses it, but I don' t think I should (or need to).

  5. I agree with the others that Facebook could be a great way to keep parents in touch with what is going on in the classroom. I know many parents that can not come into the classroom would appreciate the updates that Facebook could provide.