Today I had the opportunity to be a guest on Saskatchewan Canada-based The Afternoon News with Richard Brown on NewsTalk 980 (CJME). The topic was on 'Using Facebook in the Classroom."
First, the segment went by pretty quickly! Secondly, the segment started with a discussion about "digital natives." Long time readers know my thoughts on that topic. I also briefly shared the new research about college students', Google and web credibility.
During the roundtable, my position was that--when used in moderation--Facebook can have a place in the classroom. On the other side of the roundtable was a teacher who felt that Facebook and social media didn't have a place in the classroom.
In preparation for the segment, I prepared some notes and thought I'd share them with you. I didn't get to cover all of these topics, but here they are anyhow. Thanks to Richard Brown for having me on his show!
The Afternoon News with Richard Brown NewsTalk 980 | Sept 3, 2010
Tweens behavoir is the same behavior that teens have had for eons, they’re just using different tools. You used a phone (the one with a cord), they use a mobile phone (the one without the cord). You passed notes in class, they post on their friends' Facebook wall. The best rule: moderation in everything.
- In the US Facebook is the favorite website among tween boys/girls (M2 Research)
- Facebook handles 2 million abuse reports every week, 80% of those are false.
- According to the National Center for Mission & Exploited Children 1% of child victimization cases involved the internet, but they make the news and make it seem a greater problem than they are.
- Facebook has Safety Center online, lots of great resources for parents, students, teachers (http://www.facebook.com/safety) as well as a FB Safety page (http://www.facebook.com/fbsafety).
- Contrary to what you may have heard in the media, kids' do care about privacy and are better at managing their digital footprint than adults.
Facebook Apps: Informal learning opportunites for kids/parents
There are literally thousands of Facebook apps that are related to learning. Here are a few of my favorites.
- HeyMath (math tutorials, activities, used in Singapore school districts)
- Math Formulas (contains math formulas for parents/kids)
- Flashcards: With this application, you can create flash cards to help you study on Facebook.
Docs.com - Allows kids to collaborate
Docs.com for Facebook is a web-based version of Microsoft Office that is designed to be used on the Facebook platform. The service allows students' to easily share Powerpoint/Word Documents in Facebook. Sharing Docs on FB is "baked in."
Social networking services like Togetherville allow kids to connect with their classmates (via their own student social graph) in Facebook. Built on top of the Facebook platform, Togetherville has a school-based friending feature that allows kids to safely and easily find their friends from school and suggest them to parents for approval. Think of Togetherville as Facebook with training wheels.
Teachers Using FB Groups
Teachers can use Facebook Groups to organize their class and provide them with an easy way to communicate and share with parents, various apps, share/create permission slips and handouts via Docs.com and other productivity apps.
Facebook for Parents
Facebook for Parents, co-authored by BJ Fogg and Linda Fogg Phillips, is definitive guide on how to effectively use Facebook as a parenting tool. The book is designed to help parents to navigate the world of Facebook and provide them with best practices. These strategies should also be used by any teacher using Facebook in a school setting.