The Not-So Ugly Side of Facebook

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

The Not-So Ugly Side of Facebook

FacebookSo I spent some time in my previous blog posts bringing up the less than glamorous side of Facebook, but for this entry, I have decided to change my tune (and attempt to fit in with my Facebook aficionado generation).

Facebook is perhaps one of the biggest education technology tools in the classroom today and the social networking site continues to grow in popularity.  Despite some of the more troubling actions that Facebook enables such as cyber bullying, procrastination and cheating in schools, Facebook is also one of the best ways to link teachers to their students academically. 

As Facebook use increases exponentially in schools so, too, has the number of teachers that turn to the social networking tool as an alternative to the traditional syllabus. Nowadays, the ubiquity of teachers creating “Algebra” or “Spanish” class Facebook groups is overwhelming, as teachers are seeing the advantage in reaching out to their kids in the most efficient and effective manner. No longer do teachers have to get home after work and lament that they forgot to tell their students to ignore the part in the textbook concerning William Henry Harrison’s presidency. Instead, teachers can log into Facebook and send a message to members of the group “Mrs. Smith’s American History Class” telling them to forget that part.

On the other hand, if a student has a last minute question about that tricky Calc assignment, the student can solicit help from the teacher immediately or, take it a step further, and engage in dialogue with his/her peers. In this instance, Facebook can actually serve as a modern day classroom, as students can share ideas, answer questions and bring up new topics through the social networking site’s group page.

Facebook has allowed teachers to communicate with their students effortlessly and through a medium already widely used by kids. In so doing, kids not only get access to their teachers during dire situations but they also see a real-life example of how Facebook can be used for good as opposed to evil.

See Mark Zuckerberg… even I can throw you a bone!

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