Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Facebook in 6th Grade

At the beginning of this school year, I contemplated opening a Facebook page for my class. I wouldn't use my own personal Facebook account to open in--instead I'd use my HCPSS account to open it and never connect to it personally. I thought this would be a great way to get the students to ask questions about things they don't understand, post interesting information, and work together. However, as you all know, the HCPSS system blocks Facebook from being used inside the classroom. A few years ago Facebook worked if you added the S to http:// and you were able get on in very limited use. This was the major drawback for using Facebook at school--not actually being able to use Facebook AT school. In the article we just read, I absolutely love the idea of students posting brief synopses of the class, listing the homework, and asking thought provoking questions of their classmates. I often wonder...Will Facebook ever be available at school as the county pushes for more technology in the classroom? Will there ever be a way for teacher accounts to access it but prevent student accounts from accessing it.

What do you think the answers to these questions are?

In my next post I will send you the link for the Facebook page I'm about to set up for possible use next year (introducing anything mid-year is disastrous, as far as I've found).


  1. Sherri, I loved the idea that the article suggested about how to use Facebook in the classroom. I would love to use it in the classroom as well, but it is now completely blocked at my school even in adding the "s" to http. A teacher account would be a great idea to ensure that your personal information was kept safe, even though FB has wonderful security settings.

    I'm not sure how we would be able to go about getting the site unblocked, but it would open a world of possibilities. We use it for some clubs, but we have to do everything at home. It works well to email all of the students in the club and to assign tutors for the various honor societies. The kids respond really well because they check FB everyday!

  2. I would love to use it. It would be a great way to show students how to use something like facebook (and on those rare occasions, how NOT to use facebook). There has to be a way to have it available on teacher computers. Though, the county probably doesn't want their staff on facebook just as much as they don't want their students on fbook!

  3. Sherri,
    After reading "Facebook used to teach first-graders" I wanted to set up a class facebook account! Of course in Howard Co we do not have access. I love the idea of getting parents involved and students updating the page to let their family know what they are learning in class. I wonder what we would have to do to get facebook back in our school? I do know many teachers would log on to their personal during school hours.

  4. To be honest, teachers do a lot of things during school that they probably shouldn't: online shopping, reading personal email, making person phone calls, etc...

    Who cares if teachers facebook while in school. Worst thing tohappen? Some pretty hilarious status messages!

  5. Sherri, I too think that a place like facebook would be a great tool for the classroom. Kids really "buy" into the idea of it and I think we are missing out on a great opportunity.

  6. So, the question still remains, how do we get HoCo Schools to unblock it?
    And furthermore, how do we get each student an email address when the county says we can't just give them one?