The Pros and Cons of Using Facebook as a Teaching Tool

It can be difficult to complete the required material for a college course when a massive snowstorm hits. Because colleges are on such a tight schedule, there aren’t any makeup days. However, thanks to the introduction of technology, professors now have the option to hold classes regardless of the weather. One tool they are turning to is Facebook. That’s right, the increasingly popular social networking site is now being utilized by college professors as a way to keep students on track. Is this a good option though? What are the pros and cons of using Facebook as a teaching tool?

Most Students Have a Facebook Account

One advantage to using Facebook is that most students already have an account. This means that you can quickly get the class going without too much trouble. Many students will already know how to use chat, groups and send messages. If you’re going to use Facebook, it pays to make sure each student has an account at the beginning of the semester and knows what is expected should school be canceled.

Facebook Offers Distractions

While Facebook is easy for most people to use, it does offer distractions. Students may be more inclined to chat with friends than take part in the class discussion. Because the site offers so many distractions, you may want to consider an option that is more direct and classroom oriented, such as Blackboard which allows students and professors to interact in discussion forums.

It’s an Easy Way to Share Information

When you set up a Facebook group, you can easily create documents that detail assignments, discussion topics, etc. You can also set the group to secret so that only students can access the group. A group allows for easy interaction in which you can even share photos and videos.

Not All Students Have Computer Access

Last, but certainly not least, professors should consider the fact that not all students have personal computers. Some students use the computer labs located on campus and may not be able to access the lab during a snowstorm. When deciding to use Facebook as a teaching tool, make sure all students have a way to access the site.

When used properly, Facebook can be a great alternative to traditional classroom interaction. Facebook offers the chance for professors to setup groups for their students and easily share information. The biggest problem arises in the fact that not all students have access to a computer at all times. Professors must also take into account that Facebook offers several distractions that may make teaching difficult.

About the Author: Garland Sabina is a writer and educator with a passion for social media. He also enjoys studying investments and UFX Markets Trading. He tried some other marketing but UFX seems to be the best option.

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