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Can Facebook Replace Face-to-Face?
Most readers feel that students should be exposed to the benefits
of both social networking and face-to-face interaction.
You Can’t Beat Facebook, So Join It
Why is it that when people hear the
words social networking they immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s
bad? I believe that it’s really about fear
of the unknown and a lack of knowledge and experience in using these
types of tools as learning resources.
We can choose to ban or ignore social networking sites or we can begin
to embrace them as something that
can assist with effective collaborative
learning opportunities. Students are
using these tools regardless of what we
think or do.
Instructional Technology Specialist
Changing the Map
Social skills are developed in part
when children play face to face. The
neural circuitry in their brains is
constantly mapping connections as
they develop understanding of how to
share, be a good friend, or interact to
get what they want. Small and Vorgan’s
study (2008) suggests that the more
time we spend online, the weaker social skills become. One caveat is the
brain’s ability to remap itself given new
information. Children can develop
both technology and social skills, as
long as a balance of both is maintained. Multimedia opportunities are a
part of today’s culture, and the brain is
simply developing differently with the
integration of these opportunities.
Technology Integration Specialist
In the Virtual World
I think Facebook is as good as face-to-face, and face-to-face is as good as
Facebook. In coming years our virtual
selves are going to be what a majority
of our colleagues are going to know as
us. So we should get experience with
social interactions done virtually. As
broadband becomes built out (cross
our fingers), we will move into virtual
worlds to do our jobs.
English and Social Studies Teacher
There is an assumption that the message is all there is. Face-to-face allows
for much more interaction. Words
convey meaning, but inflection, gestures, and other nonverbal expression
can give clues to the meaning that is
intended but not said.
School District Director of Technology
Battle Creek, Michigan
Life is fundamentally about people
and relationships. Relationships contain a core ingredient of real-time
interaction as one of many important
components. Social networking applications such as Facebook function
in asynchronous communication patterns, and I do not believe fully functional relationships can exist with this
interactive pattern only.
Chief Information Officer
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Facebook as Educational Tool
If you look at Facebook and the Internet as tools to communicate, you
can use Facebook to help students
who view it and let them know you
are available if they need you. In our
library, all of the librarians have Facebook accounts for their specialties, as
well as Twitter, Meebo messenger, and
other social networking site accounts.
This isn’t to “hang out” with students;
it’s to make themselves available.
I see Facebook as an opportunity
to help students. If you don’t want to
see all the bad things they do, either
don’t look or use it as a way to remind
them to watch what they put on there.
Nothing can get inappropriate material removed faster than a teacher
commenting on it.
Another reason a teacher or a parent
should “friend” kids on Facebook is
to monitor them. If you see that a student’s words seem to take on a depressive or violent feeling, you can often
help them before they commit suicide
or decide to shoot up the school. The
teacher could also make a Facebook
page a reference spot by posting helpful sites and information there.
Facebook doesn’t need to have
negative connotations. The site is
what you make of it.
Serials Library Assistant
Delaware State University
6 Learning & Leading with Technology | November 2009