Saturday, September 25, 2010

Facebook in the Schools

We have facebook access in our school now.  I've not been writing as much about what our school is doing because I'm putting much of it on our facebook page instead.  I'll still post what we're doing here and there for anyone else to use in their schools.

After I made the page for our club, I realized I should have done it under a new, non-personal facebook moniker.  So I made a teacher facebook page for myself and made my new, teacherly facebook page the admin.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't accept Ms. as a first name (nor Ms), so I have two Marie Snyder pages, using two different e-mails, to keep straight.  

But the point is, we now have facebook in the schools, but we haven't been told much about how we should be using it - the legalities of interfacing with students on-line.  There will be an assembly coming up, but not soon enough.  I'm taking a chance doing this, but it's just such a convenient way to stay in touch  and provide information with students.  I went on facebook in the first place because the first Earthfest was being organized, and students were doing tons of talking and organizing outside of club meetings on a facebook page.  I joined just to keep track of what was going on - make sure things were getting done, and help sort out any problems if needed.

At our last meeting, it was really handy to use a computer with a projector, open the facebook page, and type the minutes while kids shared ideas.  Then everyone could see what was going on, and people coming in late could immediately see what they missed.  Anyone who missed the meeting, can get all the info from home.  It's clearly a useful tool for extracurricular events.  I could also see it possibly being used for notes in class, except then why would anyone come to class if they could get all the notes on-line?

Using a computer lab with accessible facebook is a different story.  They don't much try playing games anymore, but they're all on their facebook page as they work - fipping back and forth.  One student just the other day complained, people keep messaging me, so I have to respond or they'll get mad at me.  I explained, just click it off and they'll think you're just not getting their message yet.  Don't let them know you're on a computer, so you can get all your work done during class time.  The people messaging her were all in different labs throughout the school, so it's clearly not an isolated problem.

Phones allowed in classes?  Please let's not go there.

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