Social Networks – UMaine at Farmington

November 4th, 2011

Social Networks are groups that individuals join to meet and share ideas, hobbies or special interests.   Unlike physical social networks, these online communities may be spread across the globe.

The most widely used Social Network site is Facebook with over 7 million users.    Social Network sites allow users to create an online profile and connect with other people either by posting a public profile or a closed space that can be used only by known friends and family.   These people are in turn all “linked” to each other.

Generally a person shares their interests and can add links or photographs and even blog entries.

  1. Jan Kolenda
    November 7th, 2011 at 11:27 | #1

    Presently, we do not have Facebook open at any of our schools but we discuss often when we might be ready to open this on our network. We do have some school Facebook pages but mostly intended for parents to gain more info.

    • Jan Kolenda
      November 7th, 2011 at 11:30 | #2

      We have some parents that have decided to create a Facebook page to discuss some district restructuring that is going on..basically becomes a blog of sorts. There is some concern regarding administrators and board members “liking” their page. Interesting times….

  2. November 7th, 2011 at 11:30 | #3

    At least once a year I get called in to the School Committee to explain why we are not blocking Facebook. Essentially, I don’t think it’s practicable to block students from the many ways they could interact socially online, and a better approach is to engage them with these media in learning experiences. That then becomes a teachable moment to work with them on safe and appropriate online behavior.n

    • November 7th, 2011 at 11:32 | #4

      Peter, do you allow students to visit their FB page during school hours? Are you considering this to be educational? Being from a school that allows FB, what do you consider the Pros and Cons of keeping it open?

      • November 7th, 2011 at 11:44 | #5

        We leave it up to individual teachers to set their own classroom rules regarding whether to allow access during school. Some do, some don’t, and a small handful actually use it as a means of communication.nnReally the only cons I see are that some teachers complain about students going on fb when they’re not supposed to, and some push back from parents. With teachers I talk about the need to work with students and provide effective supervision, (as well as making sure students are engaged.) With parents, we’ve had complaints that their children have created fb accounts at school against their home rules. I’ve yet to be convinced that these students wouldn’t have found a way to do this even if we were blocking fb.nnA major pro is not having to spend absurd amounts of time filling the holes in the filter! And we do have teachers using it productively, which is something that will hopefully increase.

  3. Diane MacGregor
    November 7th, 2011 at 11:31 | #6

    I think there is a great potential to students to learn and converse with a larger audience. I like the idea of using a Ning so that it is separate from Facebook so that it could be more focused for students…

  4. November 7th, 2011 at 11:39 | #7

    I like to use Twitter to keep up on global issues…hearing from the people in a specific country and gain their perspective on what is happening around them. This type of immediate info is not available in any other format!

  5. Cbrinkman
    November 7th, 2011 at 11:40 | #8

    I am not into Social Networks, but regard myself as “connected in the digital world”. I understand its value, importance and need for our students. I regard myself as fairly private and do not necessarily need to know who is doing what at what minute / second! I would rather look at someone in the eye, read their body language and speak to others in person when possible. I believe these skills are still necessary in our world!

  6. Mwhite
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:00 | #9

    FACEBOOK:n*Easy way of connecting with family and friendsn*If students are allowed to check facebook when work is completed they are less likely to access it at inappropriate timesn*Allows you to communicate and check in with people in other parts of the worldn*PTOs have facebook pages regarding fundraisersn*you’re responsible for what you put out on the webn*fine line between representing yourself as a person & as a member of the district (board member, teacher, parent, etc.)n*teachers should not be friends with active students (at one district staff have two accounts…one for their students and one for their personal use)n*watch a movie and then host a discussion about what they saw via facebookn*Tech Center: A digital media class has a Digital Media facebook page where student work is shared so parents and students can critique the artwork and other student worknnEdmodo:n*Students make own avatars and comment regarding specific topicsn*Safe network (strictly for academics)nnBlogging: n*Paper Blog: modeling with chart paper first and sticky notes to discuss appropriate responses and discussionsn*will occur when topics authentic/controversialnnTWITTER: n*global information quickly, celebrities tweeting about products and getting paidnnOnline Newspaper: n*creating a blog site, and blogging while on a trip (instantaneous) nnPhotos via Cell Phone: students while on a field trip took a picture of an unknown object & researched it via google during break.nnEasier to block sites like facebook, people resist these tools because these tools make them nervousnnn

    • Mwhite
      November 7th, 2011 at 12:04 | #10

      Notes from a group discussion

  7. Glenn
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:01 | #11

    I want FB open to students. I want our Business Ed program teaching how to use it to students.

  8. Diane MacGregor
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:02 | #12

    Self regulating is something that students will need to learn to do!

  9. Kim Fish
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:03 | #13

    Schools should assist students in educating how to focus/balance learning and also contribute socially with others via digital world.

  10. Ben
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:06 | #14

    Question:nShould facebook/myspace/google + be opened and used in schools?

  11. Teri Caouette
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:12 | #15

    Comments:nWhy not teach Social Networking etiquette? We teach how to e-mail appropriately. nn”We encourage staff to have two accounts. Personal and professional.”nn

  12. Teri Caouette
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:22 | #16

    How can you see using social networking in your school?n

    • Carlene Lemay
      November 7th, 2011 at 12:31 | #17

      Maybe to promote various activities?n

  13. Teri Caouette
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:23 | #18

    Comments:n”Students are not using e-mail, they are using other tools like Facebook.”

  14. Carl Bucciantini
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:27 | #19

    For me, using social networks in schools is more about teaching students to be responsible users, rather than trying to block the sites.

  15. Ben
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:29 | #20

    Edmodo is a “closed” social network that is working VERY well in my school. Staff/students like the instant feedback and sharing of thoughts/ideas.

    • Teri Caouette
      November 7th, 2011 at 12:32 | #21

      Is your whole school using Edmodo?

      • Ben
        November 7th, 2011 at 12:38 | #22

        Seventh grade class for now. We will expand it to the whole school… or look at utilizing google apps instead.

  16. Becky
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:31 | #23

    I like the idea of a Protected Social networking site like Edmodo. I have heard great things about it. I also went to a session at Actem by a Mass administrator with a wonderful presentation about using Twitter in the classroom. His comment to us all, “If we do not allow social networking in the classroom then we have our heads in the sand.”

  17. tomp
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:32 | #24

    There is no better filter than an engaged adult in the room paying attention to the students.

  18. Carl Bucciantini
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:32 | #25

    We’ve found that inappropriate use of social networks has decreased since we’ve opened access. Now the focus has switched to helping students learn to differentiate between all of the tools at their disposal to determine which will be most helpful in accomplishing the task.

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