Assessment – Belfast

November 15th, 2011

In your content area groups:

  1. Decide on a topic and write a brief prompt that students will respond to on a blog, wiki, discussion board, etc.
  2. Determine five criteria for high-quality work. Write the criteria in the form of statements that would appear in a rubric.
  3. Write some comment starters that students can use when giving each other feedback on their posts.
  1. Laurie and Hank
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:18 | #1

    It would be great if teachers and students could be friends on Facebook because teachers could model social networking behavior, but it would never work. Student join social networking sites to have a PEER group they can interact with within a private (from adults) space. If they did friend teachers, they might be looking for a degree of interaction that is more than most teachers could handle either in content or time required. nnWe worry about knowing more than we want to know about students’ personal life. We also would not want them knowing too much about our personal life unless we created a 2nd Facebook persona for teaching. Might this become an extension of the school day – where does our day end? How many kids would we have to talk to each night? About what? How would it impact our classroom relationships? nnPart of our responsibility is to be an authority figure and being friends could impede that. We need to find an alternate way to model social networking skills with tools other than Facebook.n

    • David and Louis
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:40 | #2

      When you wrote about being an “authority figure”, we began to think of how preventative that would be for a teacher to interact with students on a personal level. However, we did note that you thought of many of the things we did concerning privacy and extending the school day for teachers. Did you think about students demanding immediate responses?

    • Kathleen Toole
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:50 | #3

      I hadn’t considered the additional impact on a teacher’s personal life that the additional time commitment of moderating a Facebook profile or page for student use would be.

  2. Kathleen Toole & Mike Zboray
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:18 | #4

    I think it’s unwise for teachers to friend students on Facebook. However, I am coming from my perspective as a person who experienced the advent of Facebook as a student myself – it debuted during my senior year of college, and I have always known it first and foremost as a social application. I try to use discretion in what I post, but I do not want to encourage students to be part of my close circle of friends. nnOn the other hand, I believe very strongly that this kind of social medium is invaluable when getting students engaged and attentive to expectations. The interface is mostly intuitive and could be a very straightforward way to introduce students to organizing and considering thoughts and structure prior to posting.nnPerhaps creating a separate, professional profile could be useful for this purpose. But this opens up the possibility that teachers will have access to students’ personal sharing (if they too are not using profiles specifically for school). This could lead to some uncomfortable issues with regard to mandatory reporting. nnUltimately, if the necessary communication skills developed by Facebook usage are advantageous, is there another option for developing these skills in an alternative environment? If there is a way to practice good digital citizenship without the risk of compromising professional integrity or privacy, that would be the preferable option.

    • Chris & Chris
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:35 | #5

      Good organization and summation

    • Laurie Walsh
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:41 | #6

      Your conclusion really clarified your point. It was concise.

    • Argy
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:54 | #7

      Your last paragraph sums up your opinion very clearly. In your third paragraph I wondered if you considered using Facebook as a teaching tool?

  3. Tim Hart
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:18 | #8

    “Mr. Hart, I friended you on Facebook!” These words chilled me to the core and my instant reaction was, “No way, Josu00e9!” I could not conceive of students delving into my private life. But upon reflection, I realized that there were probably some good reasons for me to interact with students in a social network. nnOne reason for friending students is that I believe young people need responsible adults in all aspects of their lives, including their online activities. If I could nurture a positive relationship with my students, their interactions with others might also be positive.nnI can avoid the intrusion in my personal life by creating a separate Facebook account for educational use. I could friend my students using that account which would provide some professional distance. I could also friend my principal and colleagues to develop a professional network.nnAlthough my gut reaction is to avoid social networking with students, I can see the benefits that arise from such activity.

    • Chris & Chris
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:32 | #9

      Good intro and conclusion

    • Laurie Walsh
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:38 | #10

      You opening pulled me into your post. That was also my gut response, but I wanted to read more.

    • Wnorton
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:43 | #11

      Your introduction is effective in drawing the reader in. You follow with two distinct points, and end with a short simple conclusion.

  4. Jill, Rick & Meryl
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:20 | #12

    Confucius said, “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” With that in mind, we can look at friendship as two different sides to the same coin and on a multitude of levels. Whether we choose to value privacy or open communication, there are costs and benefits to adding our students as Facebook friends.nnAdding students as friends on Facebook should not be mandated, as teachers and students are entitled to privacy. Just as I would not discuss certain aspects of my life with my students face-to-face in my classroom, I would not want them to have access to comments my friends or relatives leave for me on my personal Facebook page. Similarly, students should have forums for communication that are their own–that their teachers cannot access. nnOn the other hand, just because we are teachers, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends with our students. Every and all students should believe that we are their friends, otherwise they may assume the opposite. nnBy “friending” students we are offering them not only respect as individuals, but we are saying that I would be glad to communicate with you. After all communication is what the teacher-student relationship is about, doncha think?nnFriending students or not is dependent on the goal of your Facebook page.

    • Biff and Sio
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:45 | #13

      Good organization!n

      • Biff
        November 16th, 2011 at 14:46 | #14

        Kind of a paltry comment!

        • Siobhan
          November 16th, 2011 at 14:46 | #15

          In that case: nYou have arranged your ideas and information in a logical order.n

          • Rick
            November 16th, 2011 at 14:50 | #16

            more creativity please.

        • Rick
          November 16th, 2011 at 14:49 | #17

          A more creative comment from Siobhan and Biff should be forthcoming…. I hope.

  5. David and Louis
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:21 | #18

    There needs to be a distinction between a teacher’s school and private lives. Therefore, it might be wise for a teacher to have separate accounts, one for school and one for home. A teacher could be easily embarrassed if they had one account and an old drinking buddy posted a photo from years ago.nnWhen friending students online, there is another aspect where the student(s) will expect instant feedback, cutting more and more into a teacher’s personal time. nnSome benefits of friending students would be enhanced communication between student and teacher. The teacher could model digital citizenship before the students. The teacher can learn from the students, especially relating to digital skills, thus forming the foundation for a collaborative community.

    • Teri Caouette
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:29 | #19

      You gave some good reasons why teachers may not want students to connect with them on their own private Facebook account.

    • Laurie
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:34 | #20

      I liked the old drinking buddy example. I could really visualize my brother relating a memory form my childhood I’d rather not share with my students. This example clarified the issue for me.

  6. Chris & Chris
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:25 | #21

    Facebook could be a good social media tool to use with students. It would be important however to do it on a business like, professional, and educational basis. A teacher could create a specific account named and used for class use where students and teachers could share ideas and work important to the class.nIt might help students learn appropriate use of social media by having a reason to use Facebook besides socializing. Using Facebook for educational purposes would be a good rationale for enabling all students to have access to an account.nnIt would probably not be a good idea for teachers to use their personal Facebook account to friend and communicate with students. Keeping their personal and professional lives separate helps maintain a more objective and less social relationship and preserves the teacher’s privacy.nnOverall, the use of Facebook as an educational tool could be very beneficial.

  7. Argy and Dee
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:27 | #22

    “OK, so Mrs. Greenstone wants us to state our opinion about being friends with teachers on Facebook.”nnGross. OMG. What a stupid assignment. OK, let’s get this over with so we can go home and get on Facebook with our real peops. nNo way, that would be TMI! Eew?! Who really cares about hot flashes, grandchildren and the 4:00 special at Denny’s. Maybe after I graduate from high school, but do I really want my former teachers stalking me at college? nIt would be one thing if they didn’t have access to my personal FB page, but it would be cool if we could do assignments right in FB. Like, wouldn’t it be great if school was more like our real world?! nnReally? I don’t need them in my life after school, and I can’t imagine they would want us. Make me care about assignments in FB, then we’ll talk!nLOLnnn

    • Biff
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:38 | #23

      hear, hear.n

    • Kathleen Toole
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:45 | #24

      Argy and Dee: What stands out to me most about your post is your attention-grabbing use of a satirical voice! My favorite part is your attention to detail in using popular web abbreviations like “TMI.” However, I noticed a colleague next to me didn’t know what “TMI” meant. I wonder if your choice of voice may have made your post difficult to understand depending on your audience. On the other hand, it certainly seems to hit home the point that Facebook is a different beast for students than it is for teachers. Your concluding statement makes your point clear for those that lost the plot with the abbreviations!

  8. Siobhan and Biff
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:28 | #25

    We feel Facebook is a “‘vampire squid’ on the face of humanity.” We don’t have time to be a Facebook “friend,” as we are too busy being people outside of cyberspace. We have wood to chop, babies to feed, and lots of good books in which to immerse ourselves. Time aside, there are lots of reasons why students and teachers may want to be wary of friending each other on Facebook. nFacebook is an important social media site, based soley on the masses who have joined. However,Facebook may not be the best media for student/teacher interaction. Before students and teachers become “friends” on Facebook, there are many points that need to be considered. nFirst, what is the purpose of Facebook interaction between students and teachers? Is it part of an assignment, or is it simply to collect more “friends?” And, finally is there better a venue for the discussion?nSecondly, Facebook pages can be personal. Many teachers have personal accounts, and there needs to be a separation between their professional and personal lives. Even if a teacher has a “professional” account for students to use, the students may be using their own account to “friend” their teacher. The student’s privacy may be breached.nThus, it has become as clear as cellophane that Facebook has exceedingly limited use in the pedagogical environment and our full and busy lives. We’d rather be fishing!

    • hank
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:34 | #26

      It’s a great mixed metaphor, the vampire squid. Are you suggesting that Facebook has aspects that suck blood? Please say more about that…

    • Kathleen Toole
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:35 | #27

      Siobhan and Biff: While your opening quote is . . . evocative, you have failed to attribute it to Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi.

    • Sryan
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:36 | #28

      It has flashed into our mind that we did not attribute our quote. It is from Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Article on Goldman Sachs. It is from 2011.

    • Rick
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:42 | #29

      Some may take offense from your “vampire squid” allusion:nnnFor those unfamiliar with Vampire Squids: (from wikipedia)nThe vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lit. “vampire squid from ‘Hell'”) is a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Unique retractile sensory filaments justify the Vampire Squid’s placement in its own order: Vampyromorphida (formerly Vampyromorpha), which shares similarities with both squid and octopuses. As a phylogenetic relict it is the only known surviving member of its order, first described and originally classified as an octopus in 1903 by German teuthologist Carl Chun, but later assigned to a new order together with several extinct taxa.

    • Dee
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:43 | #30

      Your introduction is engaging and you really grabbed my attention when you included the vampire squid quote. Where did it come from? The image it conjures, with the tentacles is just so relevant. Facebook can reach into so many areas of our lives, under our control, but so many areas all the same.

    • Fred
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:44 | #31

      Good organization and rather creative, borrowed or not.from Jill

  9. Wnorton
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:29 | #32

    First ask yourself this question, u201cWhat could possibly go wrong?u201d As educators we should be embracing tools like Facebook and guiding our students to the forefront of technological innovation.nnKids are inherently trustworthy and responsible.nIts like a classroom where the kids never leave.nYou can never have too many friends.nnWhat could possibly go wrong…

    • Rick
      November 16th, 2011 at 14:38 | #33

      Your concluding sentence could send chills up the spines of at least a few educators/administrators, as they contemplate those possibilities! …. but of course, nothing could possibly go wrong.

  10. Than & Jerry
    November 16th, 2011 at 14:32 | #34

    As part of common practice today, teachers should friend their students on Facebook.nnWe are in agreement that the practice of teachers friending their students on Facebook is not a positive one.nnSome of our discussions focused on the lack of control over content from the teachers or students perspective. It comes up in the class enough as it is the last thing needed is to have it go to a digital environment. nnWe then looked at the blurring of the lines of the relationships between teacher and student increases as the relationship moves to Facebook. At times it is difficult to set boundaries between teacher and student and this will simply exacerbate this issue.nnOne possible solution that we came up with would be to have a class page where your class shares info and work but there is no individual relationship between teacher/ student just the shared space with all students in the class.nnnIt is now time to post this bit of wisdom.

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