Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Don't judge Facebook by its cover
While reading chapter 9 in Richardson's text, I found it interesting that he distinguished two main uses for Facebook: interest-based and friendship-based. It is interesting to consider the underlying reasons why we use Facebook. Students do use this networking site for interest-based interactions (i.e. when joining a group or "liking" a cause), "and in these "interest-based" interactions, they are connecting to peers and adults outside of their physical spaces, people who they don't know but with whom they share a passion" (Richardson, 2010, p.131). The ability to connect and communicate with others both within the classroom and around the world is a 21st century skill that will allow students to collaborate with those who share the same passion and create new ideas. With this being said, it seems as though Facebook is the most logical outlet to use for promoting these connections.
Richardson mentions the use of Facebook across classrooms in the US to be very scarce. The stigmas that come along with Facebook are also difficult to erase. However, I had to think of the implications I personally would face if I were to consider using Facebook in my classroom. First, I think it would be necessary to dedicate at least two lessons or more to strictly go over the difference between using Facebook for personal reasons and using Facebook for educational purposes. I feel as though students are going to have a hard time making this distinction. The other thought that crossed my mind was, do I want to take a site that is typically used as a leisurely activity and turn it into a place where my students regard it as another spot to complete an assignment? In other words, I don't think it is necessary to use Facebook in order to promote the 21st century skills described above. We can teach our students how to "leverage for learning" through other Web 2.0 tools that will cover the same standards and elicit the same results (Richardson, 2010, p.133). I feel that it would be difficult to take the social and friendship-based aspect of Facebook away from students and I don't know that I want to do that, especially when I know I can meet my goals through other resources. At the same time, I could see showing students the ways Facebook can be used to connect to people with similar ideas. I think there needs to be a balance between letting students continue to use technology as a part of their personal lives and taking the skills they are unknowingly gaining from these interactions and using them to further their education in the classroom.
If you are interested in using Facebook in your classroom, this video has some pretty interesting ideas! Check it out!
Posted by chrissier27 at 11:58 AM