Facebook is a social networking website used for entertainment raises a controversial issue: Should teachers accept friendship requests from students on Facebook? Facebook gives users the opportunity to access profiles created by other users. From my own personal experience I question myself if it is appropriate to accept friend requests from fellow students. Is there a time and place? Is there a place for Facebook in the classroom? Is adding student’s conducive to a productive learning environment?
Facebook can be an effective way to interact with students simply because technology is such a big part of their lives today. As teachers we need to submerse ourselves into their way of thinking. Ten years ago adding friends to Facebook was never an issue because it wasn’t an option. Today teachers are forced to face such issues because the generations are changing and technology allows people to be more easily accessible to one another. As I searched for answers I came to see there’s no right answer. There are many pros and cons of using Facebook with students in the classroom.
- They can be powerful learning tools. *Collaboration*
- Social media gives students access to information and people from around the world.
- Promotes social skills to give all students (shy or outgoing) an equal voice and opinion.
- Prepares students of how the world is moving towards technology.
- Deeps the relationship of the teacher/student.*Humanizes*
- Time consuming and distracting from the task at hand.
- Abusing the function/purpose. *Cyber bullying*
- Decreases the development of people skills. *Restricts face-to-face interactions*
- Limited ability to monitor comments and online users.
- Invading one’s personal life.
I have gathered that as teachers we can create a place on Facebook to engage students in a way that is conducive to their learning. If teachers establish ground rules and set the standards of using Facebook in the classroom it can be a very effective teaching tool! I then wondered if there was a way to be friends with students without crossing any privacy boundaries. One tip that I found to be useful is creating a separate Facebook account to just add students to or to create a limited profile for students to view. For a tutorial of ‘How to’ make a Limited Profile Click Here.
Do you feel the pros outweigh the cons? Would you be hesitant to accept a friend request from your student or vice-versa? What’s your thought process… your input is welcome.