Facebook at Shepherd High School: the Continuing Saga :)

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.

Comments

  1. Pat Ort

    My high school students didn’t have any problem with using a Ning site for our classes. It gave us our own private space for posting and forums without worrying about someone outside the class invading our space. No one complained that it wasn’t Facebook.

  2. Kristi Bush

    That’s great to hear, Pat! I will keep that in mind when considering social networking options for my students. I appreciate your feedback!

  3. Howard Martin

    Everything just short of Google is blocked here. Late last fall, we unblocked YouTube via teacher authentication on the network. However, FBook is still blocked.

    Our workaround? Since FBook is a secured site, we add and ‘s’ after http, now ‘https://…’, and we can view FBook pages. Each new page refresh needs the ‘s’ added, but it works.

    We have recently seen students creating FBook fan pages for their middle school. Now the discussion is back up in admin faces, “Should we allow students to make FBook pages?” I love it because this gives us that opportunity to mentor the kids in appropriate digital publishing.

  4. Kristi Bush

    This workaround is possible, but please be sure that it is not a violation of your school’s Acceptable Use Policy. Our students and staff sign these forms, and if they violate the AUP, their access is restricted. That’s the Media Specialist advice that I have! :)

    On the other hand, I love the fact that you are taking their dedication to accessing this resource and focusing on the teachable moment of mentor the students on appropriate digital publishing. Please keep us posted on how this works out and on any obstacles or victories that we might learn from.

    Thanks, Howard! :)

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