Monday, November 19, 2007

More on Facebook

I am having my grade nine computer class complete a webquest on social networking. They have to create a presentation/debate for the class on their opinion as to whether or not social networking sites should be allowed or banned within the classroom. I can see already that some have conflicting opinions. I think that most students think that all of the sites are harmless, but they have to take on the perspective of different groups of stakeholders including parents, educators and even online predators. Once they have researched various sites and perspectives on social networking, they have to take a stand. The next step is to create a presentation which includes some technological presentation. I am in the process of creating a rubric to guide the student outcome.

I used the following webquest site to get started:

I have temporarily blocked facebook to motivate; perhaps that was a bit drastic, but I wanted to get their attention.


SMeech said...

Great idea for a webquest! Student's need to explore the impact of their posting. We live in a world where posting personal information is so easy and nothing is private on the net...

Just out of curiosity... Why do you think blocking facebook was dramatic? Virtually all U.S. public schools have this site blocked. I am not advocating for or against it myself, but I was very intrigued by your comment.

Dean Shareski said...

Great to see you engaging your students in this, I'd be very curious to see their findings.

corrie said...

HUZZAH! You are to be commended for running this exercise. Far, far too many people in your position just block anything with "social network" in its description. You're actually getting students to THINK about the implications, and from all angles. Well done!

Alec Couros said...

I've looked closely at this activity, and although you've expressed that you want students to weight the benefits and dangers of online social network sites, it appears that there is already a heavy bias toward the dangers.

In reality, the dangers of online predators are widely overblown. Sure, this does happen, but it's rare (not unthinkable) and even lesson common in the context of online social networks like Facebook and Myspace.

I've done many presentations on the dangers of the Internet, and have studied this topic in great depth. In all of this research, I can tell you that social networks have greater potential for good than they do for bad. Additionally, they are not going away any time soon.

I enjoyed what you did here, and really appreciate that are an administrator that is using technology in the classroom, and is becoming more aware of these services. These are very important topics for our youth. As a follow-up, I'd love to see a webquest or some sort of activity that focuses on the importance of benefits of responsible digital citizenship.

SMeech said...

Very interesting article I meant to add that might be relevant!

Ohio Teachers sent letter to not have MySpace or Facebook accounts:;_hbguid=49a1babb-b469-4a85-a273-292a0514d91d

C Hiltz said...

I think I feel that it was a bit drastic because I don't believe in censorship. I have two teenagers and I raised my sister who is now twenty-eight. I have never really censored anything. My sister is twenty-eight and she has a son who is almost four. He wanted me to play Grand Theft Auto on his dad's PS2 last weekend, which did cause a slight gasp in my throat. We talked about the fact that fighting can be hurtful, and then he proceeded to "hockey fight" me. I love him dearly, and I'll do my best to teach him everything I can, including all the latest techno gadgets.

Blaspheme Bourne said...

The problems I've experienced with Facebook raise questions for the entire industry.

There should be some sort of standard practices set by a governing body — even one that is formed for and by the community. My group is working on this and I'm always looking for people interested in this discussion.

Know anyone? ;)

— Blas