Saturday, December 11, 2010

Facebook Filtering: Solution or Innovation Hindrance?

Does Facebook have any instructional value? That has been the question I have explored this week. What answer does this administrator arrive at? “Maybe.” If you set aside the issues of staff productivity concerns, legal concerns, student safety concerns, and potential data security concerns, I still come to the conclusion that maybe Facebook and like social media applications have classroom potential. Where does that leave me as an administrator? I am still open to its possibilities, but after my little informal Twitter poll, I am not convinced entirely it’s the best social media solution for the most common uses that were provided to me. The top five uses provided to me by Tweeters on my PLN were:

  1. Communication to Parents and Community
  2. Tool to provide guidance and instruction to student in proper use of social media
  3. Writing Instruction
  4. Collaboration with Other Students
  5. Sharing of media

In the course of my explorations, and with the help of my PLN, I did collect some interesting Facebook resources.  Here’s some of the best.

Interesting Facebook Resources

Drive Belonging and Engagement in the Classroom Using Facebook (PDF)

The Very Unofficial Facebook Privacy Manual

YouTube Video: Facebook Top 20 Learning Applications

A Teacher’s Guide to Using Facebook

Facebook Apps for E-Learning

Using Facebook to Connect with Students and Parents

8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Schoenig’s First Grade Class

Schools Should Not Block Social Networking Sites

50 Useful Facebook Tips for Teachers

The final lesson I take this week from my exploration of Facebook in the classroom specifically, and social media generally is this: Administrators must be extremely cautious in wielding the filtering-ax. Let’s not destroy innovation by knee-jerk reactions. There is risk in experimentation, and that means there are going to be some messes to clean up once in a while.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, John. Like you, I have lifted the ban and advocated against banning sites such as Facebook, but I am not sure whether Facebook has as much educational value as other social media tools. Currently, our school has a Facebook site, and our Communications Liaison updates it regularly. However, we are just beginning to track the effectiveness of this as a communications tool with our parents and public.

    I am looking forward to exploring the links that you have provided so that I can get a better grasp of the possibilities that Facebook has for schools from the educational side of things.

    Thanks for the resources!