Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social Networking in the Classroom - John Finch

Today we had the opportunity to listen to John Finch speak about social networking in the classroom. John works for Manitoba Education as a project leader dealing with ICT Literacy. This is the third time I've had an opportunity to listen to John speak; the first opportunity to hear him talk specifically about social networking in the classroom.

John brought up the ironic point that Pembina Trails School Division has a link to Facebook and Twitter on their homepage for parents, but blocks these sites in their schools. I found this to be rather humorous.

What I liked about John's presentation was that he put us to work finding different social networking sites that can be used in the classroom. It is always easy to talk about ways that social networking can be used, but it is even better to actually search for sites and list them in a class wiki. Again, rather than just listing them on the board or in a word processor, we were put to work using a social networking tool - Google Documents.

Overall, I enjoyed this presentation and it makes me wonder what the social networking policies will be in the school that I find employment with next year. Hopefully I will .have some leniency when working online with my students. I believe that students can be quite creative if given the chance and the trust to work responsibly

1 comment:

  1. Blair - I also enjoyed the irony of using facebook yet having it blocked within the division! I commented on this on my blog this week as well, wondering whether or not there will ever be a fine line between good and evil with social networking sites. In my last student teaching placement, the teacher in the computer lab room had access to every student's computer and could shut them out of a site if she felt it necessary. I thought this was pretty awesome.

    Did you stumble upon an interesting way to infuse social media into the classroom? (pending of course, that we lived in a perfect world and no sites were blocked). I liked the idea of having students tweet one thing they learned in class as a way to keep track of attendance as well as an exit slip. Of course - this could only happen in a perfect world ;)