We haven given up on Facebook here at Shepherd, but we have definitely hit some snags. One of these is getting our network set up so that only designated users may access it. So far, that has been unsuccessful, so we are in an “all or nothing” situation. Naturally, there is dissension among the ranks about which way we should go. I am more of the mindset that we should teach proper usage of social networking tools rather than block them. Teaching opportunities then become the next challenge.
At the recent MACUL Conference (which was excellent as always–great job, folks!!), there was a lot of talk about setting up a Ning group for students so that they have their own small social networking group. I love this idea for middle school students (and maybe even younger), but I am concerned that high school students won’t be as interested. Many of them are already firmly established in their Facebooks, and getting them to come to another cyberspot may prove challenging. In our media-rich society, it seems that the best way for us to reach our students is to go to them whenever possible, whether it be on Facebook, through text, within Second Life, or even just in their email in-boxes.