CTE Teaching and Learning Podcast – Facebook: To Friend or Not to Friend?

As students continue to use Facebook to connect and communicate in increasing numbers, it has also become common for faculty members to consider the use of this social networking site to facilitate interaction in educational contexts. One of the perennial questions that arises is whether faculty should accept Facebook “friend requests” from students.
In this episode, we are joined by VCU faculty members Mike Abelson, Melissa Johnson and Stephanie Rizzi who share their experiences with using Facebook and offer their perspectives on the pros and cons of “friending” students. In the course of the discussion they address some of the complexities of faculty members having online social identities, point out some uses that have supported some community building among their colleagues, and offer some meaningful advice to faculty who are new users or who are considering the use of Facebook.
We invite you to continue the conversation by sharing your comments.

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3 Responses to CTE Teaching and Learning Podcast – Facebook: To Friend or Not to Friend?

  1. Britt Watwood April 6, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    I first of all thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. I teach graduate students who are all K-12 teachers, so I would have no problem friending my students, as I see them as fellow colleagues.
    That said, this comic passed to me from Gaurav Gupta is rather timely:
    Online Friends!

  2. Sheila Chandler April 3, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Listened to the CTE Facebook podcast and thought the dialogue shows the struggle I think a lot of us are having with this notion of who is a ‘friend.’ I have often thought that I need two facebook accounts one for my personal life (family, friends) and one for my work life (colleagues).

    Since, I first wrote, the above, I have learned; that there are ways to manage Groups in Facebook.

  3. Art Esposito April 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    FI, like all the other aspects of the University College, was structured as a “learner-centered” program. This being the case, I’d think the value of “facebook friending” would be especially self-evident at VCU. Facebook is changing our working definition of friendship, but we can use Aristotle’s definition of civic friendship to see that shifting descriptions of the word certainly aren’t new. Finally, I can’t imagine a better tool than Facebook for engendering trust and showing students how human we are while at the same time proving good models for responsible behavior in social networking environments.