Friday, September 10, 2010

Using Facebook with Students Becomes A Global Conversation via CNN

While some educational leaders are putting out a call to action for parents to ban their students from using social media others are working with students as early as 1st grade to help them use social media responsibly and connect with parents. In my widely popular post this summer, I shared 8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Schoening’s First Grade Class. The post received thousands of hits and was featured on the Facebook in Education page. While initially Ms. Schoening was a bit concerned that Facebook would be upset that she disregarded their policy of users being 13 years of age, she was ecstatic to find when she was contacted by the social media Goliath, that not only did they applaud what she was doing, but they were thinking of how they could revise their policy so other innovative educators could follow her lead.

Since then she has been contacted by educators and media across the globe and recently wrote thanking me for the blog post about her project. She shared that she couldn't believe how many people had contacted her about trying it out. She also applauded me for helping to turn what she was doing remotely with my first grade class in Nebraska into a global conversation!

Well, global it really is now, as the story was just featured on CNN.

The story was initially picked up a few days prior by the local ABC news affiliate in this piece
Facebook In Bluffs Schools Keeps Parents Updated.

While Ms. Schoening is lauded both locally, nationally, and even internationally, it is disappointing that not all teachers are able to work under such enlightened leadership.
Unfortunately there are still educational leaders like the one below who are creating artificial school and home environments for their students and banning them from using social media. Sadly, students under such leadership won't be armed with the skills they need to succeed outside of the fabricated school environment...thank goodness the word is spreading, that there is another, better way to prepare our students for success. Embrace and empower leadership is more effective then the block and ban mantra observed in many districts.

Which school district would you rather have your child attending? One that bans their students fro using social media or the one that empowers them to harness its power?


  1. Great post. I have created a Wiki for the purpose of promoting the positive things that people are using Facebook in education for. Feel free to add this there.

  2. I think the problem with Facebook right now is that the kids are uneducated about it and therefore make poor decisions when using it. I think this is a perfect way to educate the students on how to use technology for good reasons. Let's face it Facebook is not going anywhere and if it does there will be something new in it's place. Time to educate! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Why not use technology to the child' advantage? We hear daily of how technology is interrupting a child's education but what if we turned it around and used technology to ENHANCE the educational experience? Sure sounds like that is what is happening here.
    You all may remember the study that came out a couple of years back that talked about how Facebook users, in college, did poorer in their academic studies. My company looked at this problem and came up with a's called Pass2Play.
    We took technology and turned it around so that the student could use it to their adavantage. Now when a student uses Pass2Play logins to connect with friends via Facebook or any other Internet website, this child is required to do academics as well. In a nutshell, Pass2Play takes control of the students computer upon initial login and requires the student to earn their computer playtime by completing academics that are age appropriate. From time to time, at selected intervals as determined by the parent, the student user will be required to earn more playtime by completing more academics. This process continues for as long as the child is playing.
    This is but one example of new technologies that are available to allow users of Facebook or any other website the ability to use technology to their adavantage and integrate academics into their playtime.

  4. I think using Facebook is a wonderful way of connecting with parents. I currently work with many students whose parents are often hard to contact. It seems as if everyone is on Facebook these days so I am definitely going to use it as a way of communicating with my student's parents.

    I also think Pass2Play will be very useful. It merges the idea of technology as an educational tool with its recreational uses. It would be a great resources for parents to use at home with their children.

  5. I think Facebook can be a wonderful tool in the classroom when used properly. I remember when I was a student and my parents would ask how my day at school was, and I would simply reply "Good" without getting into too much detail. With Facebook, parents can get details on what their children are learning each day. This helps make that home-school connection that teachers need to have even stronger. It will only result in parents being more aware of what is going on and better able to help their children succeed in the classroom. Why not use every resource possible to do this? Why not teach are children that facebook can be used for positive things?

  6. Correct the spelling of "penalize" in your video.

  7. @hmcnally, thank you for taking the time and concern for noticing the typo in my video. I appreciate the feedback and will make every effort to update this weekend.