Last night I got my first Friend request on the new Teacher Facebook page. It wasn’t from any of the 8th graders that I talked to about Facebook and how to change their privacy settings. It was from one of my 6th grade students. I have to say that it made me pause for a number of reasons. The first was totally personal, in that I hadn’t really put any effort into my page. It had my picture, and that was it. It is definitely not a model of good use of Facebook. Today, I have to develop it to show the kinds of positive connections that a person can have in a 2.0 world.
Second, a 6th grader is so different from an 8th grader. The student is a cheerful girl who hasn’t begun to shift away from loving her teachers. There are implications for her that she is probably not aware of. What will her friends think about her opening the door to their Facebook world to a teacher? It is my responsibility to think about that. I hadn’t been planning on making lots of posts, so it might go unnoticed. On the other hand, if the goal is to model good use, then I need to be active in my participation. There are layers to this interaction that I can truthfully say I didn’t think about when I started the dialogue with the 8th graders. In many ways, for the 6th grader, it is a perfect time to become a Friend with an adult who can walk with her through the transition.
Warning: When I had both accounts open on the same computer, Facebook seemed to be giving the student access to both my Personal account as well as my Teacher account. I am testing this out with a Friend from my PLN who is now a personal Friend. More on that in later posts.
Time to go build a more appealing and interesting Facebook page!