Thursday, March 8, 2012

Introducing Facebook for teaching and learning: workshop at Otago Polytechnic

To provide a "show and tell" session that introduces teachers and staff at Otago Polytechnic to Facebook as a tool for teaching and learning. This workshop will also include how to incorporate Facebook into wider communication and marketing strategies for programs and schools.

By the end of the workshop, you will know:
  • How to set up your account;
  • How to make the most of your settings so you can keep your private profile separate from your professional one;
  • How to use it with your students as a communication tool and to support their learning;
  • How to use closed groups for reflection and classroom discussion, and
  • How to use Facebook for professional networking. 

How to set up your account
Go to and fill in the form.
  • Be mindful Facebook retains access to your information.
  • Facebook retains copyright over information and resources you post
  • Think carefully about whether you want to make your birthday visible or not. While it's nice to have people wish you 'happy birthday', it increases the risk to your online security.
  • Think about the photos you post, especially those of children and other people.
  • Do NOT post personal information such as bank account details, even on your private page.
  • Be mindful that people can trace all your activities on FB. 
How to make the most of your security settings 
  • Go through your privacy settings and set them how you want them - don't leave them on default.
  • Think about the difference between having information go "public", to "friends" and/or "acquaintances".
  • You don't have to automatically make someone your friend. If you are unsure what their connection is, send them a message and ask them why they want to connect with you.
  • If someone posts a comment you don't like...delete it. Don't be afraid to un-friend someone if you need to.
  • Consider whether you want a professional page as well as a personal page.
How to use it with your students as a communication tool and to support their learning
Have a think about whether you want to use it as a supplementary communication tool or whether you wish to embed it into your teaching. Yes, FB is where a lot of young people hang out, but they don't necessarily use it for learning. So what do you need to provide your students so they do use it effectively for learning? It is important to think about the pedagogy behind your use of FB. It is just as important to think about learning, teaching and assessment strategies in your use of FB as it is any other mode. It also needs just as much commitment and facilitation as classroom teaching.

How to use closed groups for reflection and classroom discussion
Groups are really useful because they allow you to communicate with students without having to become their "friends". In fact, I would advise that you don't "friend" students.  You can keep them open or closed, which is a really useful option especially if you want to keep conversation private. If you keep it open, you may need to think about moderation.
  • What is more appropriate...a group or page?
  • Who 'owns' the or the students?
How to use Facebook for professional networking
  • Spend time connecting with people.
  • Initiate conversations
  • Ask questions
  • Share resources and information
  • Always respond to comments
  • Interact on FB at least 3 times per week.
Remember: If you are ever unsure about something, have a 'play'....ask Mr Google....or check on YouTube.

More resources
Examples of Facebook Pages

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