Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Social Networking in the Classroom

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

Our district just put together an agreement that will be sent out to all teachers allowing them to use social networking applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others with students for special projects and other initiatives in the classroom. Teachers currently have the ability to use these applications, but students do not. I believe this approach - not turning everything wide open - but providing the applications when needed and asking the teacher to agree to a few conditions is a step in the right direction.

I have blogged in the past about how teachers and students need to embrace these tools more on a daily basis. (See here for an example.) I also placed a video on my blog over a year ago that does a very good job in showing how our students today are connected via the social network. Click here to view the video. I am proud of my administration in supporting this move and I believe it will cause other teachers who are unsure of how these applications can be effective in the classroom, to begin to take a closer look. They will get to see their colleagues use them firsthand and experience the extensive communication, collaboration and sharing that takes place.

A perfect world is a full integration of these tools without having to worry about legal consiquences and social misbehvaior, but we must be realistic and understand that is a part of our society at this point in time. Right now, I firmly believe this solution is the right fit for our district and a step in the positive direction.

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Paula Robinson said...

I appreciate the administration allowing the use of social networking sites on teacher workstations. While I will use this feature on a very limited basis in my classroom (for now), it allows our children to "meet" other children in similar classrooms in other counties. Thumbs up! on this one.

JDS-CIO said...

Thank you for the feedback Paula. It is great to hear from teachers in our district who find this as a positive impact on their classroom.