I have been using Facebook for this course but have found myself with some reservations that I have come to realise may be important before I utilise Facebook (or similar social networking sites) in my own practice.
When I initially found out that using Facebook was fundamental to this course I was not surprised but I was hesitant. My reluctance to use this site is due to the fact that all teachers at my school have been told not to have Facebook accounts. (We have also been told that should we decide to have an account anyway, the school will not support us if there are any issues surrounding our accounts). Therefore, I find it hard to engage in depth on the site as I have no wish to upset my employer.
My other hesitation after using the site is simply that I don’t find Facebook as easy to use for study purposes as I do the university forum pages. I find myself scrolling through a lot of information to see if conversations I am interested in have been updated.
Something I find myself considering is the correct register to use for Facebook (and I feel that many struggle with this). As it is a social networking site many people adopt casual language. However, I struggle with this as I see university study as a professional, more formal enterprise. I think that as a teacher librarian this is something that needs to be addressed before using pages like Facebook to connect with library patrons.
There are positives in using Facebook for study. I am easily able to access the site via my mobile so it makes keeping up to date on the go much easier. It is an interface that I am familiar with using so I didn’t need to teach myself anything before joining the Facebook group. It does also make study a more personal experience. I have enjoyed being able to see other people’s profiles and it makes online study more personal, instead of feeling quite formal and distant.
I thought it was important to reflect on the use of social networking tools from a student perspective before I implement these technologies in a school environment.