Facebook as a pedagogical tool?

by marcsexton

The 21st century techno-savvy students who are currently in classrooms share a near symbiotic relationship with the technology surrounding them. The alarm on your phone rings to wake you, you pick it up to stop it and think you might as well check your texts at the same time; you get up and check your Facebook before checking your hair in the mirror.

These students are on Facebook practically every single day. Using Social media outlets such as Facebook can grant teachers a previously impossible access to their students, as opposed to this contact being reserved to the classroom only. There’s no more reason for students to “forget” about the short essay they had to write over the weekend if they get daily reminders of their homework on a Facebook page created by the teacher for said purpose. (50 Reasons to Invite Facebook Into Your Classroom)

Another issue is that of privacy. Students can contact the teacher without everybody else in class being aware of it. This eliminates peer pressure. The privacy that comes along with the private messaging option found on Facebook allows students to be more at ease with voicing their opinions or concerns honestly. This goes both ways. Teachers can talk to the student and the student alone if they wish to.

Having the students use Facebook for practical reasons instead of leisurely can help make them conscious of the responsibility that comes along with their “freedom of expression”. With Facebook they can learn not only to use a technology crucial to many lines of work, but figure out how to interact with one another on their own. In other words, students can help each other mutually outside of the classroom with much more ease. In class, the teacher is often busy, and the students must follow guidelines and “class etiquette”. If the teacher is occupied with some other task at hand, and the students are doing individual work and not allowed to talk with one another, they cannot progress.

Granted, some issues may arise and Facebook could be problematic at times. There is an adaptation process. However, if monitored and managed properly it can be a great tool to instill a sense of responsibility within the students, and create voluntary cooperation amongst them and their peers. Also, with their teacher on Facebook it may help them realize the diligence that should be exerted in regards to their online life, now being aware of who can see them. (The Benefits of Using Social Media in the Classroom)

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