Is it ethical to force people (over whom you have some power & authority) to use Facebook, a proprietary platform that tracks users & sells their data to third parties?
As I reflect on my own use of social media, I have to admit that I’ve capitulated…like the iPad research that states that the benefits of the device outweigh the drawbacks, when you’re working with Facebook, Twitter, there are just too many benefits to ignore. If the benefits were tools or software, some neat feature we could easily disregard, that would be one thing. It’s like deciding to use a Windows computer vs a Linux computer. I can find equivalent features on Linux and use those instead (I’m doing that now). But the benefits when using social media aren’t neat features…PEOPLE are the benefits that we connect with and that are being marketed, harvested, collected, sold to, etc.
…students on the whole will not leave Facebook. A few might for a while, but most will eventually go back. With or without the knowledge of their parents and teachers. Facebook is the way the vast majority of us communicate with each other. Facebook and social media are not going away. If you are concerned about how your children or students are using social media, you must work with them to build critical skills they need to function in today’s world and the world of tomorrow.
Understand that increasingly a person’s online reputation now counts as their resume. Studies over the last year have shown that four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook to recruit students and more and more companies are looking at Facebook to find potential employees. Given these growing trends, not having an online presence could hurt a student’s chances of getting into the college or career of their choosing. Students cannot wait until they are out of high school to establish or learn to negotiate having an online presence.
Source: EdTechSandyK, Trying to Ban Facebook is Not the Answer
“If you want to get help on your homework, you can find me online at Facebook every night between 8:15pm and 9:15pm.”
“Ms. Peel,” asked one student, “I can’t get to Facebook because my Mom didn’t pay our cable bill.”
“If you can’t get to me on Facebook,” replies Ms. Peel, “you can come in early for tutoring. Here’s a pass.”
The answer is, are professors and teachers who don’t understand how to setup their own Moodle or Sakai server really incapable of understanding the choice? Don’t they understand that if they get a Facebook account, that it is the equivalent of accepting a free car with advertising painted on one side and having to listen to company jingles while they drive? And, if they are OK with that, then so be it. If enough people are doing it, at what point does Facebook become socially acceptable?
- Bring professors and students together, and pose Harold’s initial question.
- Collect responses, and identify whether professor and students know about how Facebook exploits their data.
- Ask students if they’d rather use Facebook or an in-house solution (e.g. Moodle/Sakai) in lieu of Facebook.
- Develop an alternative solution for those who choose to NOT use Facebook.
- Vote on the decision to whether use Facebook or the alternative solution.
- Implement the decision.
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