Saturday, March 15, 2008

Facebook 2.0

The question isn't IF, but HOW Facebook is going to figure into the field of education via social networking. Our local paper yesterday published a comment along the lines of How dare professionals like teachers belong to such a thing as Facebook, putting themselves out there for students to read about. I was incensed at this attitude because I believe teachers (and the public) still have little idea of the power of reaching out to students where they 'live' as opposed to expecting students to come into our more formal education world to seek or expand upon their knowledge. We have so much to learn from our students, and Facebook is just one place we can begin our education. If you're not in Facebook, get there! Anyway, I digress. This link is to an article that discusses the future of Facebook and other social networking locations within education, the pros and cons, various factors and concerns that need to be addressed. How can we address them if we know little about the experience? Tracy Mitrano says,
"...learning more about those spaces—how they operate, who is on them, and most important, how to talk about their social dynamics—is recommended. Parents can do that effectively only if they educate themselves about both the technology and the sociology of the Internet. And demonizing the technology, as is suggested even by such august public organs as Frontline, with its feature “Growing Up Online,” helps no one—not the youth who will undoubtedly use the technology, not their parents who supervise them, and not their teachers who need to understand the role that this technology plays in their development."
See also Ms. Mitrano's article, Thoughts on Facebook, April 2006 -- which is a long time ago in social networking! In that article she discusses Five Things to Think About When Using Facebook.

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