It has been nearly two months since the beginning of the school year and the introduction of my pilot facebook fanpage classroom: MusselmanScience. I am pleased to share that so far it has gone off without a hitch! Students have been finding ways to interact with one another, particularly around troubleshooting homework assignments and misunderstanding directions.
Fan pages, in my opinion, far outweigh profiles and groups because 1) you do not need to connect the page to a specific facebook user 2) There is no friending of students required, students add and leave the page at their will and 3) Messages you post are automatically added to fans “newsfeeds” updating them on when you have posted new stuff so they don’t have to check it themselves.
With facebook being a “controversial” topic I first sought approval from Doug before moving forward. Involvement within or “becoming a fan” of the page is not required but interaction on the page counts as participation within the class. I spent time on our back to school night outlining the goals of the facebook page and our students blogs to parents, explaining how blogs and facebook allow us to extend the conversation beyond the walls of our classroom.
In addition to the fan page itself, I created a facebook subpage to my classroom blog where I explained the cautionary procedures students should take on social networking sites, linking to the site allfacebook.com‘s blog post dedicated to helping users protect their identities.
I am curious to know how other people out there are using facebook in education? I would love to see some other examples at work!