Friday, January 9, 2009

facebook (or the social web)

i read and hear a lot about social networking these days. you know, all the cool kids are doing it. the kids have myspaces, and facebooks, and nings and maybe even a few of them twitter and skype. but the majority of teachers out there don't do any of these things.

i understand the reluctance of teachers to get involved. there is so much of a demand on the time of teachers already. but i wonder how much of it is also just a flat-out refusal to learn something new on the part of some people. you would think that teachers would be the first in line when there is learning to be done. unfortunately this is not always the case.

i also wonder where the line should be drawn between students and teachers. many teachers have no problems letting students into their on-line world. i personally, do not add students as friends on facebook or whatever until they are no longer students. a class ning of course would be excepted from this but i can't have a class ning because we block ning access here at school.

the world is changing. and as it changes our sense of what it means to be teachers and how we are connected or not connected to our students is also changing. my students have my mobile number, they have my email, and i have theirs. they don't call or email me often, but when they do, i'm usually happy to help them. the barriers and walls between us are slowly eroding and the access to social networks and other web 2.0 tools are making it happen.

so, then does the reluctance from teachers come because they don't understand the new technology tools or does it come from the reluctance to lose another one of the barriers between themselves and the students? and really how many barriers should there be?

hmmm... hopefully some food for thought in today's lunchbyte...

1 comment:

Nightingale said...

In a day when we are trying to find as many ways as possible to get in touch with our students, its a sad commentary on our society that its considered improper to be "friends" with our students online. The same goes for parents of our current students. When people ask how my students are doing that have graduated, I am easily able to respond thanks to the benefits of Facebook.