I'm not an actual parent, but I do advocate many of the strategies others have espoused regarding being a good facebook parent. I was suprised a few months ago when I joined FB how many acquaintances from WAAAYYY Back that found me. It's still happening!
When I first joined, it was to keep in touch with a couple of godchildren. I was concerned that they would think I'm spying on them. However that doesn't seem to be the case. I wonder if it's because they weren't posting particularly *out there* photos and comments? I love being able to check out what they are up to once in a while and write a fun message on their walls.
In the meantime, I have acquired a few friends of my own, and it's a great way to keep in touch with friends and family!
I have been teaching the iSafe Professional Development Program for almost 5 years and I've been encouraging teachers and parents to talk with their students and children about responsible behavior online. I have talked with our children about My Space and Facebook several times and they in turn have started watching out for younger cousins and family members. It wasn't until recently that I finally created a Facebook account (with encouragement and help from my daughter). It has been a fantastic experience for me as a educator but also as a parent. I have learned about security settings and safety precautions that can be used so I now feel more informed and more qualified to teach my iSafe classes.
On a personal level I have connected with family members and friends in a different and very positive way. I have kept in touch with friends who I probably wouldn't have otherwise and it has also helped me stay in touch with my children while they are away at college.
Whether good or bad I can also see why kids get "addicted" to it!!!
My first experience with facebook was at the request of my daughter who had concerns about what some of her friends had been uploading. As a result we created a community of concerned "ladies" who often would ask me to evaluate pictures and other comments posted to give a professional analysis of their work. As a result, the ladies removed risque photographs and cleaned up their posts.
I can appreciate how you were able to share your experience with a social network with your daughter and it sounds like it was a very positive one. I also have a FB account and am surprised at how quickly it has become an electronic address book of people in my life who have made a difference in my life, at one time or another.
A special story I can share is how I've been able to connect with family I never knew. One night, bored a little with the whole "now what do I do with this" syndrome, I posted that I was going to begin a quest to find long lost cousins in a foreign land. In 25 minutes I had a posting from a second cousin (20+ year old) and in a few hours I was chatting with my cousins who I had never met - in Spanish! My daughter and I have loved exploring their lives in pictures and words and in the meantime have found some 200+ family members who were only faint descriptions in my head from stories when I was young. This experience has certainly brought us more together because she is able to experience the connection of family in a way that she (and I) have not before. Her appreciation is that she knows that everyone in her life that she ever wants to stay in touch with for the rest of her life, is going to be able to! That is a far cry from our day when a lost address book meant "never to be heard from again"! It's given us a chance to talk about how networks can be used for good (and bad) and how to treat accepting requests from strangers. We have talked about safety from different perspectives and about the advantages and disadvantages of having your life (and past life) on display. For us, it's been a good learning experience because it's a way we have been able to share information and place to showcase people to her, who I trust. I think her experience, when she is old enough, will be different because of our observations and conversations together.
That is a great story of connecting with the long-lost family, even when neither you nor they realized they were lost. Or maybe it was you who was lost.
How can we move this idea into the classroom? I realize Facebook is blocked in most schools, or so they say, the kids probably know a way around it, just ask them.
How about share this experience with the students, then have them brainstorm how a historical or literary character could have used such a tool. The students would then be tasked to rewrite history or great works of literature.
And as always, don't forget to weave Internet Safety into each lesson.
How else can we use social networking tools in the classroom.
I love Facebook--as a way of finding and getting in touch with old friends and family. But I'm not "sold" on its being a tool for classroom use. Plus, it does have dangers for young people that are discussed in our school system's Internet Safety curriculum. The article above that prompts this discussion(and has ideas that some have referred to already) poses the issue of how a parent should address it. One way I've seen(I have Friends who do this with their teenagers) that I think allows monitoring is if the parent is on the child's Friends list. That automatically puts in the guide, "would you want your parent to see what you're doing?" Because if the parent is on there, he/she will see most of it. This could be the initial way the parent allows the teenager to have a FB page. But it's only as good a tool as the vigilance of the parent who's monitoring. This same caveat applies to teachers who have their students doing great work with technology tools: the safety guidelines are only as good as the vigilance of the teachers who monitor them. Negligent or non-vigilant teacher(or parent)=trouble or danger that doesn't need to happen.
An interesting (and debatable) article that warns against social networking use among children:
Susan Greenfield, an Oxford University neuroscientist and director of the Royal Institution, claims that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter cause short attention spans and could potentially "rewire" users' brains. In my unscientific "real world" experience, though, social networking seems to increase the number and value of relationships among students in both online and face-to-face situations. More commonly, I see social networking serving as another facet of personal interactions, not a barrier.
Another comment in the article that struck me as off:
"Psychologists have also argued that digital technology is changing the way we think. They point out that students no longer need to plan essays before starting to write - thanks to word processors they can edit as they go along. Satellite navigation systems have negated the need to decipher maps..."
Again, I can see why the statements might seem valid, but I wholeheartedly disagree (and I'm not convinced that "changing the way we think" is a bad thing). Good writing takes more than editing as you go! Students must still formulate their ideas, organize their thoughts, and plan their presentations, whether they write with a pen or type on a keyboard. Plus, the "writing as you go" trap is certainly not a product of word processors. Finally, navigation systems use maps to communicate, so I do not see how digital map use precludes skills needed to decipher maps. If nothing else, the systems may show students how to use maps in a way much more effective than traditional lessons.
And the debate goes on. One point I'm convinced will stand the test of time, though, is that integrating technology effectively is the key to success. Maybe that's the main idea to take away from this article....
Good question. it can be a part of our online community, I think we can ENGAGE more educational category by this site.There should be a plenty of engagement, sharing of ideas and resources and responding to discussions, questions etc. Everyone has to actively participate in the learning and sharing process.I think face book play a very vital role to connect all the people of world so we should take advantage from this site & promote 21st century skills among people & young generation..
While attending Podstock 09, there was a wonderful resource provided to help students and adults keep track of their digital footprints. From video clips to links, there is a wealth of resources to help us help kids Social Network smart. http://digicitizen.wikispaces.com/
I've not long been a Facebook user but I have set up a school Facebook page to comunicate with our parents. I post upcoming events and news. It's just another tool to reach our parents. I also set up a Twitter page as well. The variety of comunication tools available allow us to reach a larger number of parents and community members.
I have an account .I use it communicate with my students during the training of Intel learn course before dealing with them I I have learned about security settings and safety precautions that can be used ,things that cannot share ,how to deal with stranger and so on
This page help us to communicate ,to Know the progress of their work,the difficulty ,they face and how to deal with. We work 910 days face to face and more than 3 months through the page . It was a fantastic experience .lucky we communicate tell now.