It seems like everyone (and everyone's mom) is on Facebook these days. Just yesterday, I received a friend request from my 80-year-old grandmother. What a wonderful way it is to stay connected. This is such a huge social platform, with so much potential in it; at times I wonder if we are doing full justice by using it for just re-bonding with friends and relatives.
As a retired teacher I frequently imagine how life would have been if Facebook was invented a decade and a half ago.
Like most children, my students were hardworking and co-operative. But they were playful and this made them absent minded. If I had had a Facebook account then, I would have just logged in and used the Calendar to publish the class schedule. My students would have then easily remembered their test dates, last dates for assignment submission, or any other important due dates.
Another common occurrence when I would chance upon an interesting anecdote, photograph or news item, which would be completely related to the topic I taught. As one would expect, such chance happenings used to take place after school hours. I would then wait for the next class and share it with my students, but by then my fascinating piece of information would have lost its hot-off-the-press steam. However, today’s teachers are a lucky lot. They can instantaneously share it on the exclusive Study Groups they have created.
Teaching is an enjoyable profession and great teachers are not born, they are made. Time, experience and incessant self-improvement effort makes them so. Teachers on FB can keep themselves up to date by continuously interacting with others of their ilk and mutually benefit.
However, I still come across some parents and educators who are worried about using this social platform for education. Experience tells them that, when their children spend more time on FB they spend less time studying and end up with poor grades. But I feel children who are in touch with others enjoy social well-being and this positively impacts their academics as well.
Face book can be used in hundreds of ways to make learning interesting and motivational. It’s like any other mighty force and the educator can decide if he or she wishes to use it constructively or leave it totally untouched.