This week, Candace and I were able to explore Facebook a little bit and find out how it could be a good thing in the classroom. We took on the roles of a parent (me) and a teacher). I discussed how I was concerned for my daughter to use it in the classroom and Candance explained how it could be a great learning tool with help from a great website! Take a look 🙂
My daughter came home from school and told me that your class will be using Facebook in the classroom. I am a bit concerned… Many students, including my own, tend to get distracted very easily. So I feel like Facebook could be a very distracting tool to use in the classroom because there is messenger where students can be messaging each other or friends outside of the classroom, and students can also click on adds which can link to online shopping or games. I would just like to know how you plan to keep your students, especially my daughter, focused in class with all of these distractions available right in front of them.
Thanks for explaining a bit more,
Hi Ms. Hornoi,
Thank you for emailing me with your concerns Ms. Hornoi, and I hope my explanation will help you feel more comfortable with having your daughter use Facebook in my classroom. I have chosen to use Facebook in the classroom for many reasons, as I believe it has more positive aspects than negative.
The first step with using Facebook in the classroom is to teach the students how to be safe online. The classroom is a safe environment, where the students are able to ask questions and learn the appropriate use of new tools, such as Facebook. The students will also learn what is not appropriate, such as clicking on the ads available on Facebook. As you said, Facebook messenger is a big worry for distraction as students tend to talk to their friends and procrastinate. Using it in the classroom will teach the students other ways to use Facebook as a tool and to use it productively. I have also found that if students are using this tool in an educational manner than they are less likely to use it as a distraction during class time. These days almost everyone is on Facebook, so by starting off using Facebook in the classroom, I am able to teach my students how to safely use social media and develop necessary skills needed to be successful in the 21st century.
Facebook is also a great tool to keep students connected with other classmates, as well as with their parents. Students are able to ask questions to their Facebook friends and gather information for polls, research and projects. They are then also able to share their work beyond the classroom environment and have a stage to produce their success. There will be easy access for the students and parents to assignments and reminders. This will give the opportunity for parents to ask questions about their student’s days, and have documentation of what their child actually did, instead of the usual conversation of “what did you do today at school?” and the reply being “nothing”.
Overall, Facebook can be used anywhere and it is more likely for students, as well as parents to check Facebook multiple times a day and so it will keep everyone in the loop. Once again, thank you for emailing me about your concern. I hope you that you now see Facebook in a positive light as I believe your daughter, as well as other students, will succeed in using Facebook as an educational tool.
Hi Ms. Stenko,
Thank you for your email back. I now know that Facebook isn’t a bad tool to use in the classroom, but rather a great learning experience. I will be sure to pass on the message to other parents and suggest it to future teachers.