What is Facebook?
Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social network that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances.
The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections.
Anyone can sign up for Facebook, and in fact, over 1.44 Billion people are on Facebook.
The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook.
So, what are these users doing for 55 minutes per day?
More importantly, how can conservative activists use this network to find like-minded activists and organize around a cause digitally?
Who started Facebook?
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at Harvard University.
The website’s membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but it later expanded further to include any university student.
In late 2005, it was open to high school students, and finally, in 2006, Facebook became available to anyone aged 13 and over with a valid e-mail address
Steps to creating an account:
1 Visit Facebook.com
2. Provide your first and last names, an e-mail address, birthday and gender. Finally, create a password,
3. Facebook will ask you to complete your profile by asking for your high school, college and employer. You may skip this step,
4. Finally, they will ask you to provide a photo. You can upload a photo already on your computer, use a webcam, or skip this step until you find a picture you like.
5. If prompted to add friends from your e-mail contacts, skip over this process for now.
Facebook will send you a confirmation e-mail to the account you provided. Once your account is confirmed, you are ready to find your old friends and start making new ones.
Facebook as a tool for teaching and learning
Education systems around the world are undergoing a revolution in teaching and learning, with the advent and maturity of new technology driving new forms of engagement between students, teachers and the wider world, powered by the web.
This revolution coincides with the exponential growth and access to smartphones and mobile devices that allow access to information in real time, at young people’s fingertips.
Facebook has been transforming the teaching of subjects across the curriculum within the classroom.
Three is huge potential for using Facebook for non-formal and out of school hours learning in during breakfast, lunchtime, after school, weekend and holiday activities; from young people ‘liking’ each other’s work on a Facebook Page or Group, to young people making, creating and curating their own content and learning; to the ways in which social networks can be harnessed to engage young people in informal learning in youth and community settings.
Create a space for revision resources.
Pupils may be directed to the Group where they can easily access a set of resources for a specific subject, share links to resources and discuss revision assignments.
Set homework tasks
The group format enables a class group to discuss tasks among themselves, enabling pupils to collaborate and learn from each other.
Organise a sports team
An inbuilt events tool enables a teacher leading an activity to share a series of forthcoming events or fixtures. The teacher is then able to see which pupils will attend and can send further messages to confirmed attendees.
Communicate with parents
Teacher may use Facebook Groups to communicate with a set of parents when face-to-face meetings aren’t necessary – for example, to share information about an upcoming school trip.
Use Facebook Pages to enable Group project work
Students can set up a Page relevant to their project – for example, a history of the Second World War – and then post relevant images and articles to the Timeline, pinned to dates when those major events occurred. As they add more information, so they’ll build a comprehensive Timeline of the era they are studying.
Set events for exams and essay deadlines
To ensure your students don’t miss an upcoming exam or essay deadline, you can set up an event on Facebook. Invite all the relevant students to that event – they’ll receive a notification of the invitation and then when they accept, or join the event, they’ll receive alerts when you or other members post information or update the event details.
Collaborate with and learn from other teachers
Facebook Groups can be a useful way to share resources and advice with other teachers in a distant remote environments.
Creating Pages and Groups
You can use Facebook as a communications hub in several ways.
For most teachers and educators, pages and Groups will be the two key tools.
A Page is public, which means that anyone can view it.
Anyone can like a Page on Facebook, and students who do will see updates in their News Feed.
Groups enable you to communicate to a smaller audience and allow you to limit membership to only those you approve.
Using a Page or a Group is a great way to use social media with your students without blurring the line between your professional and personal lives.