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Education and Learning with Facebook Chat

This section is going to talk about the possible uses of Facebook chat in the classroom, as a means of increasing learning and bettering education.  Facebook chat is an instant messaging tool available to anyone who has set up a facebook profile, you are then able to chat in real time with your friends using the chat feature which is built right into the facebook website. 

As a note to teachers this does require you to have a facebook profile, if you are going to moniter or be involved with the online discussions between students in your class, and even you if you wish to be involved.  Therefore it is very important that when creating your profile you make sure to keep it as profesional as possible, your students will be able to see and read anything that you post on your profile.  As a profesional it is important that you follow any rules or guidelines about language, conversations or inapropriate pictures and postings just like you would in your classroom at school.

Possible Educational Uses of Facebook Chat:

1.) Facebook chat can be used as a way of getting groups to communicate out side of school, when working on research projects, lab write ups and other activities that require members of a group to communicate with one another to get the project done.

               -In high school when you assign a group project you have to give them time in class to work on it, most of them do not have the ability or the resources to meet out side of school to work on it as a group.  By using a resource like facebook chat you give the groups a tool they can use to be in constant real time communication which will allow them to work on the project as a group in separate locations.  For example lets say they are working on a final lab write up and each student has a part  of the lab they have been assigned to write, between facebook chat and email they can put the whole thing togeather and make any nessisary corrections needed.

2.) Facebook chat can be used in the school for the teachers as a quicker way to communitcate with one anothers instead of sending emails between faculty members.  This will mean that you do not have to cheek your email during the day to find important announcmets and other postings.  All corespondence between teachers, administration and and tech will be done in real time using an IM tool like facebook.

                -Generally you are to busy to take the time during a class a cheek your email regularly, let alone send a responce.  During the break between classes most teachers are asked to watch the halls and make sure students are getting to their classes and not being disruptive in the hall ways.  Therefore haveing something like facebook chat which can remain open on your desktop at all times, and give you imidiate real time communication with administration and other teachers minimizes the time it takes to comunicate and increasses the efficency of the communication.

3.) Facebook chat can be used as a tool for answering students questions even after the final bell has rung.  If you as a teacher were to set up a time each night when you would be logged in and free to answer any questions about that days class or the current homework assignment. Facebook chat provides a way for you to be more available to your students during a time that was before imposible.

                 -All students have been sitting at the kitchen table doing their homework and relise "man i forget how to do this problem", and then they would just have to wait to ask the question the next day if they ever asked at all.  If you were to be avalible during the evening at a time when they might be working on the homework, then you give them a chance to ask the question then instead of waiting and maybe never asking.

Possible International Educational Uses of Facebook Chat:

1.)  Uses facebook chat as a new and improved way of doing pen pal corespondantes with other students in different citys or countrys, depending on the abilities of your students.

                 -This particular application of Facebook chat will be disscussed in the chapter titled International Applications of Facebook chat please reference that chapter to learn more about this feature. 

 Pros and Cons of Using Facebook Chat:

Pros                                                                                                                                                                

1.) School corporations can set up networks for just their students allowing student and teacher communication at any time and any place not just in class.                                                                                                                

2.) Teachers and administration can be in real time communication at all times which increases response time and crisis management increasing security and the safety of the students.                                        

3.) Teachers can answer multiple questions quickly and from home, during a time when other wise the student would not be able to ask a question                                                         

4.) Provides a good way to increase social networking in the school among the students in a safe and controlled environment.


Cons

1.) Facebook has been designed as a social networking tool, and for that purpose it works really well.  It was not designed to be used for education so all of the possible uses for facebook chat we have listed above are exactly that; probabilities.   

2.) Students have been using facebook for such a long time as a way to communicant with their friends about everything except topics covered in class, and well old habits die hard.  You may find it difficult to keep them on task and foucuse when using face book.

3.) Safety, Safety, Safety, facebook has been referred to as stalker.com, leaving many parents fearful of letting their children use the site and therefore many schools have completely blocked any access to facebook or myspace through school servers.  If this is the case at your school then facebook chat will be of no value as an educational tool.  s

Conclusion:

We have just discussed several ways in which Facebook chat can be used as a tool for increased learning and bettering education, yes the program is limited, and was not designed for educational use but with a little creativity and inginuity it is possible to come up with several ways to utalize this feature to connect your students in ways never before possable.                                                                                                             

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3 Comments

  1. Unknown User (blgehlha)

    Hey I was just looking through your information because I find your topic very interesting! While reading through your information I thought of another possible "con" you could add to your list.  Though facebook chat may be an easy way to talk to your teacher if they are online, it may also allow students to know too much of the teachers personal information.  My cousin is teaching for her third year and she frequently has students of hers try to add her on facebook but she refuses them because she doesn't want her students to be able to pry into her personal life.

  2. Unknown User (abalzer)

    I completely understand where you are coming from however, if as a teacher you are going to use facebook as an education tool then it also requires you as a teacher to be mature and take things that would allow your students to get into your personal life off of your facebook profile as to prevent those things.  Also, the age group that we are using this for is post secondary in which case many professors and teachers are open with their personal life and do not care what their students know and the students really don't care what the professors are doing on the weekends.

  3. Unknown User (ahesters)

    Hey I was looking over your project and found this very interesting. I really never thought of Facebook as a learning tool. However after reading your research I find that this would be an excellent way for students to communicate for school projects outside of class. This just goes to show the endless possibilities of technology. This looks great!