Friday, November 25, 2011

Are more teachers using Facebook with their students now?

There I was browsing my diigo network links and I found something that caught my eye:
10 Beneficial Facebook Pages For Educators To Check Out, written by K. Walsh. While reading the list of some of the "many Facebook pages that have been created as a resource to collect, share, and disseminate information about education and education technologies" it triggered a thought about Vicki Davis' views on teachers using Facebook with their students. While this post does not advocate teachers using FB with their students (it is more of a list of resources for teachers' life long learning, K. Walsh does discuss this elsewhere.

I went over to the Cool Cat Teacher blogpost on the topic. Similar to my issue in yesterday's post it seems that there are respected educators on both sides of the debate. Vicki has thought and investigated many aspects of teachers using FB in their classrooms and the argument for the other side is that students are using this site anyway and why not add relevance to your classes by using a tool that they are familiar with. I won't repeat Vicki's thoroughly thought through arguments - please read the post at her site (or reread it), but it is worth thinking through the arguments of those who espouse using Facebook with students in secondary school.

Millie Watts in a recent article for school and college leaders says that for her Facebook is valuable as a teaching and learning for these three reasons: speed and ease of use, Facebook connectivity which enables her to post articles she finds to Facebook page without leaving the site she is reading, and community interaction as past students remain connected and interact with present students.

I always steered clear of using Facebook with my students but I do wonder if things are changing now. For a collection of links about social media and education I would recommend John Larkin's post which may make us think again whichever side of the debate you have come down on. I would love to hear about your experiences.


  1. Thank you for talking about this important issue. It isn't that you can't use Facebook with students. You can! It is that friending students is a bad idea for the reasons I have listed. Fanpages are perfect and should be the preferred way to do this. I have lived through a very real problem with having adults and students friend an educational account. Again, thanks for bringing this issue out into the open.

  2. Thanks for making that point Vicki. Nothings brings it home like a real experience with real students and parents. Your story makes it clear that we need to think about all the implications before we act, and learn from each other.

  3. Hi...

    Yes this is the fact that almost every teacher using face book with his or her students because in my point of view its absolutely wrong because teacher make come standard in the sight of students.


  4. I think teachers should not be allowed to use facebook with students, former or current. I think separating the professional and the personal are imperative.

    Further, I have tried using a new social media network, per se, with my 6th grade language arts class. is a great tool, similar to facebook, and used specifically for education. I am the owner of the page and have complete control over posts, content, and management. My students have also given me positive feedback. They love it! Parents are also welcome to participate and can sign on to see what the students are writing. Try it out!