Saturday, November 10, 2007

Get out of my Face (book)!

Ever since the discussion I was involved with about the use of Facebook in education I have become conscious of the arguments for and against it. Clearly networking and collaboration in education is vital especially for distance students, and it is a lot easier and cheaper to use a tool that is already up and running. Facebook is hip and trendy and why wouldn't you want to hook into that as a teacher wanting to capture a student's attention? Nevertheless, there is a strong argument from students that they do not want educators to get involved with something which is theirs outside of school/university - Facebook is their recreation activity and they want to keep that separate from study. This has been my exact argument as to why I would not want to interact with students in Facebook - I want to keep work separate from my private life. George Siemens has written about this in his blog: elearnspace. George urges educators to consider how students feel about the use of all these interactive social networking tools. When we are developing ideas for using Web 2.0 resources in our education programs we need to collaborate with students to ensure, as George says, we do it with them and not for them to ensure we are meeting their needs, not what we think they need.

On a lighter note, once you have seen this video ask yourself: do I really want to educate my students using this? Thanks to AJC for the link on his blog: Science of the Invisible.


David McQuillan said...

Funny :-)

I think I've joined the ranks of people who think Facebook should be kept as a social/recreational space.

While I initially signed up to check it out with my educator's hat on, I'm definately enjoying being in there much more than I thought I would. I'm spending quite a bit of time there actually catching up with people who I otherwise end up neglecting.

I'm not sure I'd be happy to do as Sue Waters does - that is to point her class to her profile as a way of building a non teacher-student relationship. At this stage I'm planning to keep my social life separate from my professional life. Perhaps in the last couple of weeks of a course I could open this type of relationship? We'll see.

Sarah Stewart said...

I haven't closed my mind to it completely but am avoiding Facebook at the moment because I do not want to be obsessed with it - am getting distracted enough as it is with blogging!!