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50 Reasons to Invite Facebook Into Your Classroom


At its start, Facebook was once exclusively for college students. But as it has grown in popularity and become adopted by everyone from grad students to grandmas, its usefulness has grown, too. Educators are beginning to realize the powerful potential that Facebook has in the classroom, not as a distraction, but as a collaborative learning tool for K-12 students and even college students completing traditional and online bachelor’s degree programs. While some schools and instructors may be wary of inviting such a temptingly fun procrastination platform into their classrooms, others have seen great benefits in using social media. In fact, teacher Elizabeth Delmatoff in Portland saw a 50% increase in grades after implementing a social media program in her classroom. How can Facebook benefit your class? Read on to find 50 ways.

  1. Facebook is fun:

    Almost every student is familiar with Facebook, and most are excited to be able to use the site for collaborative learning.

  2. It's free:

    Schools pay thousands of dollars for collaboration, digital storage, and communication systems, but Facebook does all of these things — for free.

  3. Students are simply more connected:

    Many teachers are familiar with Blackboard and other classroom community systems, but students typically only check in when necessary, while students are often checking Facebook multiple times per day.

  4. Calendars and events are super easy to share:

    Remind students of important dates and events right where they hang out — on Facebook.

  5. Students will learn 21st century skills:

    A study from the University of Minnesota discovered that social networking sites like Facebook help students practice the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.

  6. Students want to share beyond the classroom:

    Facebook and other social media tools open up the possibility for students to share what they've learned not just with their fellow students, but with the world.

  7. Online resources are even more convenient:

    Posting links on your classroom wall makes it easy for students to read them, and share interesting finds as well.

  8. Students can use Facebook productively:

    Most students use Facebook to procrastinate or catch up with friends, but using it in the classroom will help them see the tool in a different light.

  9. Absent students stay in the loop:

    Students who can't make it to class can stay updated using the classroom Facebook group.

  10. Campus clubs have a simple forum:

    Students in extracurricular activities can use Facebook to stay in touch and keep everyone updated.

  11. You can schedule daily learning activities:

    Sign up your classroom Facebook group for a word of the day, or history lesson of the day to utilize a learning point that can be enjoyed together and referenced later.

  12. Facebook encourages collaboration rather than cliques:

    Everyone can speak up and work together on Facebook, where students may be held back socially in the classroom.

  13. There's an opportunity to discuss appropriate use:

    Set students up for success in social media by discussing appropriate ways to use it.

  14. Facebook creates a social bond:

    Teachers and students can benefit from the social bond created by interaction on Facebook.

  15. Students can get access to extra assignments:

    Instructors can post extra credit assignments-or just fun activities students can pick up.

  16. Review material is easily organized:

    By tagging important items, you can easily collect links, photos, notes, and other resources that are essential for pre-exam review, which is useful for instructors as well as students.

  17. It's great for professional development:

    Students aren't the only ones who can benefit from using Facebook. Teachers can use it for professional development, too.

  18. Students can listen more actively:

    Students may passively listen to lectures, but interactively using Facebook will result in active learning.

  19. Parents can be more involved:

    Share lunch menus, important reminders, activities, events, closings, and special notes via a Facebook Page for your classroom.

  20. Class resources are available anywhere:

    Students can read notes and assignments anywhere they can find the Internet when they're posted on Facebook.

  21. You can reach students on to go:

    Want to remind your chronically late students to get to class on time today? Students can receive Facebook updates by text, allowing you to get in contact before they're late for your lecture.

  22. Students can learn about social media in a safe environment:

    By using Facebook in the classroom, you can teach students about the safe use of social media.

  23. You'll save paper:

    Permission slips and flyers that used to be sent home on paper and eaten by the dog can bow be uploaded in Facebook groups for parents to use instead.

  24. Students can conduct research:

    Whether it's for asking a far-flung family member about genealogy or taking an informal poll, students can use their Facebook friends to gather information.

  25. Facebook is great for reminders:

    Even if you're mentioning important dates and assignments elsewhere, students can be helped with reminders that pop up right in their Facebook feed.

  26. Students can share at-home progress:

    Want to know how student science projects are coming along? Ask for photos of their works in progress, posted on your classroom Facebook wall.

  27. Social media becomes less of a distraction:

    Some teachers have found that using Facebook and other social media sites for education means that students are less tempted to use them inappropriately during class time.

  28. Shy students can shine:

    Students who might otherwise not speak up can contribute on Facebook where they may be more comfortable.

  29. You can share resources with colleagues:

    Your school teaching group or a collection of 4th grade teachers in your district can get together can share resources for teaching, saving time and enriching the classroom experience for students.

  30. Kids and parents can talk about activities:

    When parents are following along with class postings, they'll never have to wonder what happened at school-and they can build upon what was discussed.

  31. Media can be disseminated with ease:

    Teachers, students, and parents can post pictures, video, and questions, sharing a dialog and resources on Facebook.

  32. Group projects can be executed on Facebook:

    Students can form groups for class projects, sharing assignments, information, and bringing it all together with trackable involvement.

  33. Show and tell:

    Students may not be able to bring their zoo-worthy python into the classroom, but photos and videos can be shared on Facebook.

  34. Debates can be taken online:

    Extend classroom discussions onto Facebook, where students can spend more time in active learning and debate.

  35. Students are more likely to interact with faculty:

    Facebook breaks down barriers, making instructors more socially available to students-and making it easier to talk to them.

  36. Outsiders can offer their input:

    Teachers can easily ask experts to chime in on Facebook pages, sparking a new level of discussion and involvement.

  37. Students can learn the importance of creating content:

    Instead of simply consuming content, students can create, posting discussions, resources, and more.

  38. Faculty can learn names and faces:

    With constant updates and interaction, faculty can use Facebook to better associate names and faces in the classroom.

  39. Students can interact with others around the world:

    Many classrooms use Facebook for foreign language learning, partnering up with students who speak different languages, from Spanish to Japanese.

  40. Facebook can help new students settle in:

    Whether it's grade school or college, Facebook is a great tool for helping students get integrated into the social and academic life of a new school.

  41. You can poll students on Facebook:

    Ask questions of your class on Facebook and get easy answers using polling tools on the site.

  42. You can get instant feedback:

    Find out quickly and easily what students think of an assignment or activity idea.

  43. Students can stay connected anywhere:

    Even if they can't make it to class or check Facebook on their home computer, students can use Facebook on their mobile devices to stay updated at all times.

  44. Instructors can better understand the interests of students:

    When students make their profile details available, instructors can learn more about a student's major, interests, and background, allowing them to suggest information and topics they'd be interested in.

  45. Facebook is full of learning apps:

    You can find tons of apps for classroom learning, including mathematical formulas, slideshow applications, class notes, and more.

  46. Relationships can continue after the course:

    Students can ask for recommendation letters, advice for other classes, and more because of Facebook's informal communication.

  47. Students can become established on Facebook:

    Using Facebook in the classroom will allow students to start seeing it as a professional tool, and allow them to build a presence on the site.

  48. Facebook provides an opportunity for collaborative learning:

    Bringing the social element of Facebook into collaborative learning helps to encourage the practice and improve student engagement.

  49. Students can learn about academic and professional networking opportunities:

    By using Facebook, students will be able to discover the opportunities for career focused networking that are available.

  50. Faster feedback:

    Facebook allows instructors to host extended virtual office hours, with postings and responses available around the clock.

July 18th, 2011 written by Site Administrator

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