Saturday, 2 January 2010

Social Networking

With BETT fast approaching (we are on the playful learning stand) both the young people and I have been working really hard all holidays to make sure we have all our evidence and projects in one place - as well as working with some of the equipment from the sponsors of the stand.
It's been manic as usual, but what struck me this year, was how easy Facebook has made it to communicate with the pupils. Usually, we are speaking on messenger, arranging times to meet and talk through issues - its reliant on everyone remembering and having internet up and running at the same time, and being able to run messenger on phones as well as computers (not all our pupils have computers at home!) Nightmare! This year though, everyone has facebook apps (or similar) for phones, facebook pages etc etc and so our little BETT facebook group has been brilliant - helping one another, discussing progress, developing info.... it's been great!
Speaking to another teacher, she was surprised when I said I had been facebooking with young people.... why? Safety is often quoted as an issue but in reality, it’s much safer (both for me and the young people) than many other methods of communication. I have simple rules with the young people and I follow, which means all discussion, comments, work is in a public forum, safe and it also allows them to see it as a learning space - not a void to be filled!
It's made a huge difference to the young people and I over the past year. There is a wealth of evidence out there about how it helps learning..... so why are more schools not embracing social networking?

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