Saturday, January 1, 2011

Social Networking

As we reflect on education and different ways to engage our students by relating teaching to their interests, we cannot ignore the influence of social networking.  We live in a social world with students who often find it challenging to socialize. As a result we need to teach students how to be effective at socializing in that world, how to interact with people around them, how to be engaged, and informed twenty-first-century citizens.
Students enjoy using social networking sites and spend most of their free time on these sites. In my seventh grade science class all nineteen students have facebook accounts and are constantly updating them. The majority of my sixth grade students also have facebook accounts. They spend more time in school discussing what happened on facebook than they do the content that they are learning. If we can tap into that as educators we would have a real market. I believe we would get a few more students to participate in discussions through the use of social media in the classroom. The students would definitely be interested. I guess the drawback would be administration support in regards to policies surrounding privacy issues and cyber bullying among others.

I have a facebook account and a Myspace (just got that today) and I don’t spend that much time updating them and just hate when people I didn’t have as friends before send me friend request 10 years later. REALLY?

I however have friend requests from most of my students that I haven’t responded to. How do others feel about that? Is anyone friends with any of their current students? Does anyone or their administration have an opinion about this?    


  1. Iffeisha, as a rule, I never allow any of my students to be part of my facebook page. There are just way to many problems that can come from that. There has to be a line at some point that keeps the teacher/student relationship intact and I don't think having students having access to my personal facebook page is at all appropriate.

  2. I feel the same way, but I have peers who have students as friends (and usually the ones who post inappropriate stuff) which ultimately gives those students access to my page or requires me to change my settings. I'm at the poit where I don't even make an issue of it, I just 'unfriend' and block people.

    I guess to each his own.

  3. Iffeisha, I do not accept any friend requests until the students have graduated. Since most of my students are juniors and seniors it doesn't take long! I have never had to block a student that has requested me, but I sometimes only give certain students a limited profile view. I don't have anything on my page that I feel the need to hide, but I know that some teachers do. I think it's up to each teacher's discretion and how comfortable they feel; my school does not have any kind of policy regarding it, but I know some schools do!

  4. Most of my students don't have Facebook accounts (yet) since they are in 2nd grade but several years ago I did turn down a request from a student to have my AIM username. I don't feel comfortable having my students or parents as friends. I don't post often and don't put things I would not want others to see, but I still just don't like the idea of it.

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  6. Iffeisha, you bring up a lot of good points. Students are on social networking sites ALL the time & even though I only teach 3rd graders most of them know what facebook is because their parents & older siblings have accounts. I agree with Cara that I have turned down friend requests from students & parents, because I view my facebook page as my "home" life. But I wouldn't be opposed to having a class or school facebook account if it was monitored properly.

  7. For me personally, facebook is not there for my students unless I specifically make a page for them--which I've tried to do. However, whenever the time comes that HoCo unblocks facebook, I do plan on setting up a class page. However, I will at that time create an auxillary fbook account to use with the class. None of them need to see me me chugging that 4Loko!

    Also, some of my colleagues are friends with students and my general rule of thumb is to just not be friends with people who are friends with my students.

  8. I agree. It's not that postings are so personal. But the information you share with your friends and other adults might not be what you want to share with your students.

    It's too muchnwork to monitor the content you post to make it student friendly when that's not the purpose of your page.

    I am open to having a class Facebook page, just because of my students enthusiasm for the tool.