Do you allow the use of Facebook as part of your classroom experience or not? Some states, such as Missouri, have actually created state-wide regulations to Facebook interactions between students and teachers. Individual schools often create their own guidelines about using the social networking site. In a recent article author Tina Barseghian, discusses the benefits of having class Facebook pages in “50 Reasons to Invite Facebook Into Your Classroom.”

By having their own classroom Facebook pages, teachers possess additional opportunities to encourage student learning.  Here are some advantages:

  • Students like Facebook and many check it several times a day, so they are more apt to see a reminder from a teacher or become involved in a discussion.

  • Facebook is free in contrast to the social network sites that schools must pay for.

  • Teachers can easily share calendar and events.

  • Facebook can be an easy way for students who miss class to catch up.

  • Parents can follow what is going on in the classroom by looking at the class Facebook page.

  • Students and Parents can also find pertinent information such as permission slips electronically that may have been lost in a locker in their paper form.

  • Students can use the polling feature to poll their friends as part of research.

  • A teacher who requires responses from all students will hear from shy students or those who prefer not to share in class; the rest of the students will benefit as well.

  • Teachers can invite experts to participate in a Facebook conversation much more easily than inviting them to the classroom.

Protecting student privacy is an important concern but finding creative ways to do so can yield some excellent teaching opportunities via Facebook. And don’t forget, even the Pope is on Facebook

Written by Christine Schmertz Navarro