Social Network

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Opening Facebook:
How to Use Facebook in the College Classroom
Caroline Lego Muñoz
Fairleigh Dickinson University
United States munoz@fdu.edu Terri L. Towner
Oakland University
United States towner@oakland.edu This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2009 Society for Information Technology and
Teacher Education conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

1

Abstract
The purpose of this research is to propose the idea of using the social network site,
Facebook, for teacher education. Specifically, this research explores the advantages of this new
Web 2.0 medium, and illustrates the different levels of course integration at an instructor’s disposal. In addition, it provides specific instructions on how to use Facebook and a discussion of “best practice” policies that can be ethically implemented within the classroom. Specific attention is given to suggestions for creating a professional Facebook presence in which future teachers can emulate.
Introduction
Students are heavily immersed in Web 2.0 technologies (i.e. blogs, twitter, podcasts, wikis, social network sites, virtual worlds, video sharing and photo sharing). They are crafting on-line lives that seamlessly meld with their off-line world. Indeed, the internet is playing an increasingly important role in not only students’ social life, but also academic. Educators are now turning to Web 2.0 tools, drawing upon their ability to assist in creating, collaborating on and sharing content. At present, little empirical research has been conducted on the value of
Web 2.0 in education (Crook & Harrison, 2008). Research has begun to examine social network sites, but few studies have specifically addressed its role in pedagogy (for notable exceptions see
Charnigo & Barnett-Ellis, 2007; Hewitt & Forte, 2006; Mathews, 2006; Mazer, Murphy &
Simonds, 2007; Selwyn, 2007; Towner & VanHorn, 2007). Teacher education literature has also started to address this area (Coutts, Dawson, Boyer,



References: Arrington, M. (2005, September 7). 85% of college students use Facebook. TechCrunch. Retrieved on September 30, 2005 from http://www.techcrunch.com/2005/09/07/85-of-collegestudents-use-facebook/. Baker, P. (1999). Creating learning communities: The unfinished agenda. In B. A. Pescosolido & R Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2008). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Charnigo, L., & Barnett-Ellis, P. (2007). Checking out Facebook.com: The impact of a digital trend on academic libraries Coutts, J., Dawson, K., Boyer, J. & Ferdig, R. (2007). Will you be my friend? Prospective teachers’ use of Facebook and implications for teacher education Crook, C., & Harrison, C. (2008). Web 2.0 technologies for learning at key stages 3 and 4: Summary report Fischman, J. (2008, October 13). Dear Professor, students want to chat with you. The Chronicle of Higher Education Grant, N. (2008). On the usage of social networking software technologies in distance learning education Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 3755-3759). Chesapeake, VA. AACE. Hamann, K. and Wilson, B. M. (2003). Beyond search engines: Enhancing active learning using the internet Helms, A. (2008, November 12). Teachers disciplined for Facebook Postings. Charlotte Observer. Hewitt, A. & Forte, A. (2006). Crossing boundaries: Identity management and student/faculty relationships on the Facebook social browsing. Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 167-170. Retrieved October 1, 2008 from http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1180901. Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2007). Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview. January 15th, 2009, from http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/198/report_display.asp Lipsman, A Retrieved January 15th, 2009, from http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1519. Mathews, B. S. (2006). Do you Facebook? networking with students online. College & Research Libraries News, 37, 306-307. Mazer, J. P., Murphy, R.E., & Simonds, C. J. (2007). I’ll see you on ‘Facebook’: The effects of computer-mediated teacher self-disclosure on student motivation, affective learning, and Russell, M., Bebell, D., O’Dwyer, & O’Connor, K. (2003). Examining teaching technology use: Implications for preservice and inservice teacher preparation Saunders, S. (2008). The role of social networking sites in teacher education programs: A Qualitative exploration Selwyn, N. (2007). “Screw blackboard…do it on Facebook!”: An investigation of students’ educational use of Facebook.” Presented at the “Poke 1.0 – Facebook Social Research Shapira, I. (2008, April 28). When young teachers go wild on the web. Washington post.com. Retrieved January 15th, 2009, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/04/27/AR2008042702213.html Stelter, B Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/14/technology/14aol.html. Towner, T. & VanHorn, A.(2007). Facebook: Classroom tool for a classroom community? Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois. Voithofer, R. (2007). Web 2.0: What is it and how can it apply to teaching and teaching preparation? Presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference. Young, J (2008, August 18). When professors create social networks for classess, some students see a ‘creepy treehouse’

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