ERIC Number: EJ873643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Facebook: The New Classroom Commons?
Schwartz, Harriet L.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n5 p39-42 Jan 2010
There has been much discussion about the issue of boundaries on Facebook. Some suggest faculty members can resolve potential dilemmas in relation to students by making sensible decisions about what to post and by fine-tuning privacy settings. But the challenges and opportunities run deeper. For those who want to be appropriately accessible to students in the cyberhallways they frequent, while also keeping in touch with everyone from their kids to old friends, Facebook is worth considering as a communal space, albeit one that requires discretion. New technologies create alternative points of connection. While email has challenged long-standing norms by helping to craft a culture where some students expect 24/7 access to professors, Facebook presents even more-profound questions regarding boundaries and mixing the personal and professional. Being available to students via email, texting, instant messaging, and Facebook requires one to set boundaries. In the author's experience, students appreciate her accessibility and without question respect her boundaries. She believes that even this surface-level contact is important, helping maintain and strengthen their connection. She now sees Facebook as part of the larger commons, a space in which people stay connected. Facebook, instant messaging, and the like keep her metaphorical office door open. And that increases the potential for real-time, face-to-face conversations that are rich with connection, depth, risk-taking, and growth.
Descriptors: Electronic Mail, Social Networks, Computer Mediated Communication, Web Sites, Teacher Student Relationship, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Privacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A