As a social networking tool, the popularity and phenomena of Facebook is undeniable. As an instructional tool, some educators are probably shaking their heads immediately!
As a high school teacher, I know that many of my students are active facebookers. I decided to informally survey all of my American Literature students to see how many had Facebook accounts. As it turns out, 83% admitted that they had accounts. I created a Facebook companion page for our student website, Linderature. It was actually pretty simple.
1. I logged into my own Facebook account. I have been active on Facebook for about three years, so I am pretty familiar with the whole process. If you are not familiar with it, spend some time on their site. The functionality is amazing. An hour on Facebook might be telling as to why our technology use at school seems so mundane and slow to many students!
2. Once you have an active account you will need to create a Facebook page. This is different from your profile. For example, my profile is my private page with my name that only my personal friends have access to. What you are about to create is a Community Page. This is a page that people can go to and “like” it. You set up the privacy settings, and determine what users can and cannot do.
3. After I made an page, I only had to mention that Linderature was on Facebook to my students. I did not need to give any specific instructions or explanations out. The next day, students came to class and commented on the page. As the page manager I am able to see how many visitors I have had, view various site statistics, and communicate with my students online. I typically post extra credit, ask questions, or just have quick conversations with my students.