Let’s start this post by stating that Facebook was not actually created as a learning platform, it can however clearly be used to enhance and support elearning. Facebook is STILL the most convenient way to get connected to friends, get updated on existing friends, find new people, build relationships and express identities – so the big Facebook advantage is that your audience is most definitely there. Facebook makes it easy to network and interact with other virtual students, and because most people know how to use Facebook they don’t need to become familiar with a new platform.
It’s also relatively easy to create apps for Facebook, making it a great canvas for developers to add cool new functionality and get users involved pretty quickly. We have written about Facebook apps for elearning before in this post!
For those interested in using Facebook with students the following links may be of use: [Resource: Facebook as an “interactive learning resource”?]
1) Stephen Heppell: Using Facebook in the Classroom This page outlines the dos and don’ts of using Facebook with students. Examples include the following (and much more):
- Do – build a separate teacher page for your “teacher” presence.
- Do – keep your teacher and personal page very separate
- Do – post pictures of school/lessons/trips – even diagrams you put on the board (snap them with your phone and post them) – it reminds students that you are there, generates a pride in the school and reminds them that this is not a vacuous space!
- Don’t – ‘friend’ students yourself – not even as your “teacher” presence.
- Don’t – accept complete ignorance of Facebook as an excuse for dangerous school policies like blanket bans. Instead offer to be an action researcher, and try it out for a year. Continue reading