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