Facebook Privacy
July 8, 2011

Teachers are rightfully hesitant to use social media tools in the classroom, especially given the risk of inappropriate content.  However, social networking sites have made their mark and they are not going anywhere any time soon.  Facebook is at the top of social media; it is currently the second most popular site on the Internet right behind Google.  As with all social media, young people are a main demographic and it would be a smart decision to help educate young people using the tools they feel most comfortable with.

Facebook has privacy controls that enable users to manage what anyone can or cannot see. Teachers should build a separate teacher page for their “teacher” presence.  This is to protect students from their personal lives- most students do not need or want to know the dating status of their teacher. Another great tool is for teachers to build group pages on Facebook. They are able to post pictures and videos from class field trips as well as start discussion boards for students to participate. Identity and belonging are important parts of learning.  Therefore, teachers should encourage students to ask any questions they may have about homework or the daily lecture.

However, to ensure privacy, teachers should make sure groups are closed groups so students have to request to join.  The Facebook group should also be linked to any other social media site that is used by the school.

The social networking site provides many benefits as a learning tool.  It provides an inviting atmosphere since Facebook is not any more the teacher’s site than it is the students’. It also enhances engagement; when students are accessing class content more often, it increases the amount they think about it and will be more likely to participate in discussions.

Privacy is a very important concept today, and it is important to make sure that all students feel comfortable and secure using Facebook.