photo © 2009 Franco Bouly | more info (via: Wylio)Here is an exchange in Facebook that I engaged in tonight. Please excuse the letters used in place of names as I want to protect the identities of those in the exchange. I did send my friend the current login and password in a private email to help her out.
The original plea came across my Facebook timeline like this:
- (FSVFB Grandmother) don’t be such a “Wendy-Whiner”!!!! 31 minutes ago · Like Unlike
- (FSVFB) Grandma, do you understand how much work this is? im gonna die :p 27 minutes ago · Like Unlike
- Cathy Nelson: scdiscus.org–email me for login name/password sweetie! 10 minutes ago Like Unlike
- Cathy Nelson: Choose Literature Resources from Gale (from the A-Z List of Resources) 7 minutes ago · Like Unlike
- (FSVFB) Alrighttt. 6 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
- Cathy Nelson: Who is you VBLF? (Very best librarian friend) LOL. 5 minutes ago · Like Unlike
- (FSVFB) Well of course you! Haha 4 minutes ago · Like Unlike
- Cathy Nelson PS if any of your friends need that login or pw, share in an email. The organizers of the site dont want the info posted in public online places (in an effort to keep it free for SC folks.) Since I kind of like it myself free (it’s about $1000 per database) I try to follow their guidelines. about a minute ago · Like Unlike
- (FSVFB) Alrightyyy will do! I like it free too haha. Thanks again! a few seconds ago · Like Unlike
A little later in the thread this popped up
- (A different FS) FSVFB how bout text me the discus password if ya would please 18 minutes ago · Like
Right or Wrong?
photo © 2009 George Eastman House | more info (via: Wylio)This is just ONE reason I believe students and their teachers can be friends in a networking environment. Risky? Depends on how one uses the tools. I use Twitter and Facebook quite a bit, but these tools are networking sites that connect me to many from the educational environment. The student in this exchange is one from my former working context. Many kids ask to friend me, and often I stress over whether or not its politically correct or even smart. But when we have exchanges such as this, I know it is in their best interests for us to be friends. I make sure I participate in the network professionally and model appropriate behavior and language there too. I wish more schools could look at the positive (like this) than the potential for negative behaviors. Our kids need us to be models in how to appropriately use these tools. And tonight, I actually helped my student friend here who was freaking out over an assignment, even lamenting that she had not paid attention in a former class that gave instruction and guidance. And I indirectly helped another former student who is not one of my friends, but is seeking to get the information so he will be successful in the assignment too.
The view from above–>TPTB
So, in closing, I ask: How do we get the “powers that be” who make the policies banning these tools from schools (and scaring teachers to death about being friends with students) to see the stance is too harsh? These tools are not going away. I just read the other day Facebook has outnumbered Google in visitors. Doesn’t that speak volumes? Our schools today cannot have leaders who think of us as pictured above. It is not the way of the world or even the typical classroom of today, and if it is, well, that is even more frightening.
What is your district’s take?
How is your school handling the use of Facebook as a networking tool, not only for you to cultivate a PLN, but for you to teach appropriate and ethical use of such sites to our student population. Is there a solution to make everyone happy?