Facebook in the Classroom
Spotlight on Strategies by Ariel Kavulich
In the lives of high schools students, social networking is high on the list of priorities. According to the Pew Research Internet Study on Social Media and Young Adults, "73% of wired American teens now use social networking websites, a significant increase from previous surveys. Just over half of online teens (55%) used social networking sites in November 2006 and 65% did so in February 2008" (Lenhart, 2010). One of these social networking websites is Facebook. Facebook can be used in the classroom in many different ways. Two approaches that I would recommend are using it to relay information to students and parents in a way other than email and using it as an instructional tool. Since students are familiar with Facebook when they see it being used in the classroom, it is an automatic attention grabber. Consider creating a Facebook page as a teacher and putting it up on the overhead during the first class -- Students will be interested from the start!Using it as an instructional tool can be just as interesting to the students. They are able to use a tool that they already know about.
An example for using Facebook in the classroom is during a unit on the periodic table and the elements.
Students create a Facebook page for an assigned element.
Facebook pages must include:
About section (Information about the element)
Location (Where the element can be found)
"Birthdate" (When the element was discovered)
Pictures (Include raw form and materials the element is found in)
Comment on two other Facebook pages
Incorporate Facebook into YOUR CLASSROOM!
1. Use Facebook as a tool to communicate with students and parents outside of school hours. Create a teacher page and allow students and parents to talk with one another through the page. Be sure to encourage positivity and respectful posts only!
2. Use Facebook as an instructional tool.
Pick a topic that students can research.
Have students create a Facebook page that includes the following:
About, Location, Birthdate, Pictures, Comments
Note: Facebook may be blocked in many school districts. Consider showing a sample Facebook page created by you and have students create something similar in Powerpoint, MS Word, or on paper.
Students are required to share their findings with one another.
Additional Resources and Citation
Lenhart, A. et al. 2010. Social Media and Young Adults. Pew Internet Research Project http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/02/03/social-media-and-young-adults/