Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ch 9 Response

Chapter 9 response - Social Networking

I have to admit, I love Facebook.  I use it to wake myself up in the morning.  While I am not a frequent poster, I love connecting with people with whom I have lost touch.  Having grown up overseas, my high school friends are spread out all over the United States and the world, for that matter.  By connecting on Facebook, we can see one another’s families, organize reunions, and offer support during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (one of my classmates helped raise a million dollars to be donated to homeless families affected by the disaster, and much of it was through Facebook).  I agree, that the online social network can become a useless timewaster, but for my purpose I have used it as a way of reconnecting with people. 

While perusing Facebook during class, I was able to find a few pages that support education, such as, of which I have joined, and it occasionally posts valuable information.  I cannot say, however, that I would feel comfortable using the social networking site in my classroom.  The main reason is because I am going to be in EC/ELEM, for which Facebook is not approved for, but also because of the nature of the site itself.  As the book “Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts” suggests, the site is an interest-based site and not so much for learning purposes.  It has proven to be a great vehicle for the distribution of information for groups that I am a part of.   With that said, I do not think social networking shouldn’t be used in the classroom, perhaps another tool would be more appropriate. 

After quickly reviewing Classroom 2.0 (a Ning site) I can comfortably say that this tool is more suited for use within a classroom setting.  The content is education based and it’s purpose centers around this topic as well.  I feel its intentions are more focused on education rather than merely connecting people.  I believe something like this that is more closely monitored and controlled would be a safer environment for our students and I wouldn’t worry so much about someone entering the site who doesn’t have the best intentions in mind.  I would like to explore Ning further with the possibility of using it in my future practice.  

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