Facebook and students - who should speak?
The group seems to be doing it's job - the new students are writing away on the wall introducing themselves and asking questions. So if you're joining us and you haven't signed up for it yet - please do! From my point of view, I think the group is doing what I wanted it to. I am increasingly convinced that Facebook in academic contexts really is for the students to use as a 'hang out' social space, not really as a forum for academic discussion. Of course, that doesn't mean that students can't talk about their studies (it is (nearly) always great when they do) - it's just that the kinds of discussions I think should be generated by them and based on what they find important. I see my role as a 'gatekeeper', watching out for inappropriate content and so on, hopefully seeding the conversation from time to time with questions. But if you are a student reading this, what do you think? Would you want your lecturers talking to you on Facebook? And if you do - what would you want to be talking about?
I'm going to keep using Facebook for sure though - certainly as a way of keeping in touch with my personal tutees. And we'll have to evaluate what the freshers thought of the group when they get to induction!