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Facebook: Agent of Change?


Will Richardson of Weblog-ed is beginning to think that Facebook might be a viable tool for driving change in schools. Facebook has an enormous user base, comprised of an older demographic than you might think.

The numbers right now are pretty compelling. Six hundred thousand new users PER DAY, and fully three-quarters of the 175 million users are over 25. In fact, the fastest growing segment is women over 55. Whoda thunk that?
I read that as a whole lot of parents and teachers are dipping their toes in the pool and at least beginning to come to terms with social networks … I can’t help but think this conversation for reform which includes teaching kids how to learn in networked publics and online communities will be given a boost by their participation.


I'm a college students going into teaching and we just recently were talking about facebook and whether it should or shouldn’t be used in the classroom. I think that facebook is something that could be beneficial to getting information across to students and that it should be researched more to see if it could help students learn. The only flaw I saw with the facebook idea is that it seems that it would be tough to regulate. With all the different applications and features, it just seems like it could be difficult to make sure it is only being used for education (at least in the classroom setting).

Kyle hit the nail on the head, and summed up the problem as a whole with online learning: regulation. How can any instructor make sure that his students are reading, learning and thinking about what he wants them to on facebook? We tried blind faith in kids' innate desires to learn before (it was called the Progressive movement) and it netted us a little report called A Nation at Risk. We have since learned a lesson: students need teachers, mentors, and high expectations, and a solid, realistic, motivating curriculum. Does facebook provide that? I'm not so sure...

I am also a college students going to education, and I feel the same way, in that using social networking site like facebook can be beneficial, but only if the usage in the classroom is carefully overlooked by the teacher. I think with the new age of technology out there, and the access and interest kids have in these kind of sites, it seems that using them in a classroom has the opportunity to help kids be more motivated and excited about learning, if they are using an on-line tool, like facebook, that they are already familiar with and enjoy! I feel like facebook can also be used as a tool for students to help them outside of the classroom as well. One example would be If they are friends with other students in their class and are doing a group project, they can easily chat and communicate with one another about their project on a site like facebook. So it seems like facebook can be beneficial and helpful in the classroom, but like was previously said its usage needs to regulated by the teacher so it's not misused!

I think that if I friended my middle school students (and I couldn't do this without my school's permission, and right now we're banned from making contact with students on Facebook), that over time they would learn to censor what they put on Facebook (like hateful remarks about other people, profanity, and pictures of them doing things that should not be in a public place like Facebook), knowing that I could see it, and this would be beneficial for them.

I understand what Ann is saying but I have to say at my school I am able to be friends with students on facebook but I choose not to accept friend request. I feel like because of the boundaries that I set for my relationship with students I need this rule in place. Not that I have anything obscene on my facebook, I just feel like I will want to regulate what they post on their pages which would not be fair to them . If this was a tool we used in the classroom that I agree that we would need to regulate it, although I question how it could only be used for educational purposes. In my scenario it is not so I choose not to accept the friend request. On the other hand I worked for a program that serviced high-risk young girls and I would request them as friends on my space because of the potential of inappropriate behaviors and it helped the girls and I find common ground to see me surrounding through the photos. So it really depends on the setting how useful and beneficial social networking sites can be.

This post is fantastic. Wow…thank´s.

I do not think that Facebook should be used in the classroom. Facebook is a social networking application that mainly is used for recreational use. I think if you brought it into the classroom, students would not focus and not really appreciate the lesson that was put together. Students use facebook to relax and communicate not to learn. It is an outlet from studying, and I think if you brought it into the classroom, you would confuse those boundries.

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