Using Facebook – PD in Focus 7

Facebook logo (taken from www.facebook.com)

Facebook logo (taken from http://www.facebook.com)

Thousands and thousands of educators around the world use Facebook to connect with others around the world. Some have two Facebook accounts – one for personal use and one for professional. Some can balance the two in one account.

To be honest, I had had a Twitter account for three years and flatly refused to open a Facebook account. It was not that I found anything intimidating about it – I just thought of it as just another distraction. Why open a Facebook account when I can already connect to educators via Twitter? [Now, this isn’t a comparison post between the two. One works for some, the other works for others, some educators (like myself now) use both in different ways.]

Until my Facebook mentor, James Taylor (as I like to call him!) explained it to me in detail – the advantages and disadvantages of it, the uses and so on. What did I find great about it in the end?

  • First of all, if it works for you (like it eventually did for me), it can be a super tool for professional development. It allows you to connect with educators all around the world – you can read their profiles, see who they are connected to and adjust your saftey settings, if you do not want just anyone friend you/ You can approve all the people though.
  • What I really like about Facebook is that it is very visual. You can see photos right away, add links and anything you like. It is very colourful and pleasant to read, most of the times.
  • There is no word or character limit (the character limit on Twitter can be a bit of an issue) – however, I find you can write as much as you like, but again, being laconic (as much as possible) can be an asset.
  • I absolutely love the fact that you can join groups related to topics that interest you. You can hold chats there, post relative links and photos, they can become great communities to share and learn!
  • Another thing I like are pages. I have pages related to my new business, where I can post information, new events and developments and the people who have ‘liked’ my page can always get updates. Similarly, I can get updates on the pages of others I have also ‘liked’.

There are surely so many other uses for Facebook for teachers and I am still learning – feel free to link any posts you have written or leave more ideas in the comments below.

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18 thoughts on “Using Facebook – PD in Focus 7

  1. Great post, Vicky!

    You see, I had the same experience. I opened a Facebook account after having a Twitter account for 3 years. I also refused to have one and felt forced to open a FB account because I had a group of students who wanted to have a group in Facebook for their English class and I thought that if that was motivating for my students to keep in touch and to practise the language outside the classroom, then I had to do it. I’ve been able to experience all the advantages you marvellously describe in your post and keep in touch with educators from al over the world.
    Hugs!
    Marisa

    • Dear Marisa,

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! What a great way to start being on Facebook – could you give us some more insight as to how you have been using it with your students? I have not used it with mine yet.

      Thanks so much,
      Vicky

      • That’s true! It was a great way to start and nothing stops me now! I create PBWORKS sites to share material with my students but they always complain that the notification of updates is sent via e-mail. The thing is my teenage students don’t use their e-mail accounts, they only use Facebook so I create a group for each class and I tell them through Facebook about the material I’ve uplaoded in the PBWORKS site. With my students we also use Facebook to write private messages when they can’t attend a class or if they have been absent, I send them a message asking them what happened and telling them about what we they have missed. It’s a good way of keeping in touch. They can ask me questions, etc.
        What I do in the case of my students, I accept them but with I label them as students with restricted access.
        Thank you for sharing valuable recommendations!
        Hugs!
        Marisa

      • Dear Marisa,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to explain how you use Facebook with your students! It sounds great that you can communicate about uploaded materials, absences and so on. I may use your idea and do this with my college class. Most of them use Facebook and not really the Moodle platform we have at school.

        Great ideas!

        Thanks once again,
        Vicky

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  3. I’m dreaming of more Russian teachers joining Facebook AND actually using it effectively! The day will eventually come, social network is the answer for an English language teacher.=))
    Thanks for the post, Vicky!

    • Hi Ann!

      I truly hope more and more join FB and see how beneficial it is especially for us educators! EDducators everywhere should actually try it out : ) Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Dear Vicky,
    Like you I was not interested at all in getting involved with FB. But now I understand that just like any other tool out there it is what you make it to be. Right now I feel I’m on an extremely exciting journey, with many roads stretching into new and amazing places … What a trip :-)

  5. I like this post, Vicky! It’s true. Facebook can be a great tool for PD. I met some of the greatest teachers and educators in my country, Indonesia, from Facebook as well. I also started a PD group (Indonesian English Teachers’ Club – in which I believe you’re a member yourself) on Facebook and hope that we can soon ‘move’ from online activities to offline ones. So yes, Facebook is good! :-)

    • Hi Retno!

      Thanks so much for you comment! I am happy we have recently connected on Facebook and yes, I am a member of that group too : ) Happy you find Facebook beneficial!

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  9. We’ve found Facebook to be invaluable but I’d stress what you mentioned at the beginning of the blog: keep two accounts, one personal and one professional. It can really save hassle down the line and your professional account can really grown into something useful. We have an article on the whole concept here: http://tinyurl.com/ndoe2nt

  10. Hi Vicky: Great post. One of the things that I like is that it enables people worlds apart to connect. Who would have thought that this guy in Canada would have a friend in Zug, Switzerland. I’ve learned more about your country by reading your posts and either asking you about them or heading onto the web to research things myself. I can’t think of another forum where we can share stories, pictures, and even Foursquare checkins!

    • Hi Doug!

      How beautifully you have described the whole Facebook experience! I am so happy we have connected and I can learn so much about technology from you, and also news from Canada : ) Hope you can make it here some day and you can see this lovely country!

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