There is no doubt about it; social media has become the major form of communication for people all over the world. I’ve been on Facebook for five years now, and I find it to be beneficial for my social life, but that’s about as far as it went for me. Reading these articles has opened my eyes to another world. I honestly never even considered using Facebook in the classroom. It was surprising to see how many articles there are on this topic, and how many different ideas people have created for using Facebook in an educational setting.
I believe there are many pros to using Facebook in the classroom. Students live in a generation that is technologically based; computers and social media sites is what interest students, so if we can find a way to use this technology in the classroom, then we can find a way to motivate students to learn. After reading these articles, it is obvious that there is so much you can do with sites like Facebook. The web article “100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom” from the site Onlinecollege.org gives great examples of how to use Facebook effectively, “Students can post their book reviews for the instructor to grade and other students to read. If it's a peer-reviewed project, then students can more easily access each other's papers online.” This is just one of the many great ideas they provide.
There are many articles that explain cautions that should be taken, and focus that should be given when using social media sites in the classroom. Sarah Kessler puts it well in her blog “5 Best Practices for Educators on Facebook” she says, “Once teachers decide how they’re going to use Facebook, they need to follow through in a way that takes class participation on the social network seriously.” Basically, if you bring Facebook into your classroom and you have a purpose and guidelines as to how it will be used, then you will find it successful. If you use Facebook in the classroom and haven’t researched precautions and ways to use it effectively, your experience with it may be extremely negative with unnecessary issues arising. Most of these issues come from teachers not monitoring the students work and using the internet as a break from lecturing. Poole states it perfectly when responding to a comment from Dr. Netiva Caftori in his blog “Risks Involved in Integrating the Internet Into the K-12 Curriculum, he says “When it comes to children and learning, well-trained teachers should be “bundled” with the Web, as Dr,Netivia Caftori, professor of computer science at North Easter Illinois likes to put it. Teachers should be guides at the side, preparing quality learning experiences for the children in their care.” Educators need to be actively participating and monitoring students work.
I can envision Facebook being used in my classroom in many different ways. I like that you can make polls and have students vote on different issues. It would be cool to set up profiles for past presidents and have the students vote on which one they feel made the most effective changes for our country. Facebook can be a great tool to reach many different people, so why not use it in your classroom to create an awareness of different issues. I am a strong believer that community service projects and awareness of world issues can lead to a better future. It would be awesome to find out what the kids are passionate about and create a page for specific issues. They could use the page to post papers on the issues and ideas for special events. It would be a great way to create unity in the classroom. Overall, I believe Facebook and other social media sites can assist teachers in making learning more successful and enjoyable.