Description of the tool
It was, for me, very interesting to think about how Facebook could be used to support learning in my future classes because I recently joined this social network. I like most people registered to it when it came out a couple of years ago, but quickly closed it because I didn’t see the purpose of it. Last fall, I decided to re-open an account after all those years. Why, you’ll ask. Because of our first year BEALS study group on which students share information and ask relevant question about the program to help each other. Therefore, Facebook is for me a great tool in my University program. However, as a future teacher and future mother, I do understand how people judge it rather than the noticing plus sides of this social software.
Reflection pedagogical way
Something important to take in consideration is that social medias are now part of our societies. It is a reality these days that most people have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many accounts in social networks. Those social medias are used on a daily basis and even a couple times a day. Students use them on their phones, computer and intelligent tablets. As M. Miller said in class, posting things on a group portal, such as Moodle, where students have the obligation to go on, as a teacher you won’t get as much motivation from your students then on a website they visit a couple of times a day. As a teacher, if you have a Facebook group, you can post information and send messages to your students and it is convenient because people will get notifications when they log in. Also, because people go on Facebook often, you know the information will get to them quickly. A Few options on Facebook also shows you know who has seen the post you’ve posted. For example, the instructions for a group project are posted on the wall of the group, on the right of your comment you can see who has seen the comment. You can then validate which student went and see your information. This is one of the many options Facebook gives you to share and validate who saw what you posted. For students and teachers, this social media is very easy to use. Hence, for it’s accessibility, for it’s friendly interface and it’s common usage, Facebook gives the education system a great opportunity to use a social media to motivate and inspire students to learn and share using technology in a supervised and transparent manner.
Those are few of the advantages I found and by looking online I found over 100 ways Facebook can be used in classrooms. I invite you to take a look to all the options you have as a teacher: Click Here
What I can do with Facebook in a classroom?
- Create a Facebook classroom page (Click here to create one)
- Share book reviews with your students (This could be an awesome project. You could have your student read a book and then make a review of time and after every student in class could share their review on Facebook)
- Practice English (write to each other in English in your group)
- To open their eyes to the world have them follow specific things on Facebook like: journals, politicians, sources and more.
- Schedule events with them
- Post class notes
- Post class videos (for students who might have missed the class OR for students or are slower learners)
- Make announcements
- Get their opinion
- Have them brainstorm
And I could go on and on…I really found a lot of ideas of things that are possible to do with out ESL students using Facebook.
These were few of them, but if you want more I invite to browse on that website: 100 ways you should be using Facebook in your classroom
What do people say about using Facebook in school?
These were for me all valid reasons why a teacher would want to use Facebook in their classrooms, but I wanted to get the opinion of someone who was in the Educational system to see what they really though about it. Thus, yesterday in my stage 1, I asked my associated professor what she though of working with Facebook in her English classes. She told me that in the past years there were a lot of debates on the subject, but that she personally found that there weren’t really many use of Facebook in her English classes. She said the computer teacher used it with his students and that being the soccer coach of the school she did have a group to share information and messages about practices. However, she did not see the value of it in her classroom. For her using emails and the school portal were enough to share information and she didn’t find she needed Facebook.
I found online a pretty cool article called A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom. In this article I found a very positive point of view on the use of social medias in classrooms. As we all know there are good ways and there are bad ways to use social medias. This lady showed us the good ways and showed that Facebook can be used to: ”to get feedback for your students’ online science fair projects. Teacher Jamie Ewing is doing this now, as he shared recently”. She addressed the point of social medias in a fun way. She talked about it being a myth. She said: ”The myth about social media in the classroom is that if you use it, kids will be Tweeting, Facebooking and Snapchatting while you’re trying to teach. We still have to focus on the task at hand. Don’t mistake social media for socializing. They’re different — just as kids talking as they work in groups or talking while hanging out are different.”
What I think about what they think?
I find it’s true. I find it’s a great way to promote communication and to have feedback from your students. It’s something they use everyday. Why not bring it to our advantage? As it was said in the article there is a difference on socializing and having a focus on a task. As we all know learning a second language can be tricky. Thus, I think we could use something students are comfortable with and use it to our advantage.
But in the end, it’s all a question of personal opinion and school policies. As future teachers, we should always try to do everything in our power to catch our student’s motivation, especially in second language teaching where it’s sometimes harder to get the students motivated. If I see that a social media such as Facebook will help my students in an educational setting, why not use it? This is a way of working with the new generations in modern classes. This kind of social media provides students comfort and connection to what is being thought in the classroom. Who knows what will exist in few years. What I do know is that rather than working against it, I will find secure ways to work with it.
If you need more information on the advantages of Facebook, on ways teacher can use Facebook or if you need some tips or even educational applications here are two websites that helped me build my opinion on Facebook in the educational system and I would like to share it with all of you:
Also, if you are thinking on using a a social media in your classroom such as Facebook you might want a take a look at standards for students.