Reading Response July 10th

Before Coffee, Facebook: New Literacy Learning for 21st Century Teachers

I think the fact that a middle school teacher gets on the social media site, Facebook before she even has her morning coffee. This word play of “Before coffee, Facebook” makes it apparent how important Facebook is to this teacher’s life. The usual thought is that a person wouldn’t do anything before coffee, and a lot of teachers do drink coffee, but it spins me as a reader because coffee is not the first thought, Facebook is. The authors say, “Teachers, too, live literate lives online in this new age of composition, with impulses to write that are “newly technologized, socialized, and networked (244)”. This quote is meaningful because it helps me realize that not only are students in this day 21st century, but teachers are also categorized this way. They are 21st century thinkers, learners, and teachers themselves in fact they are just as interested in technology like Facebook as their students are. I agree with the authors that social networks like Facebook have a lot of adult users, despite the thought that the younger generation, for instance teens find it a way of life. That being said, I think it is important to start looking at teachers’ personal relationships and encounters to use the experiences as a way to think about classroom practice. I’m not sure however how easy it is for teachers to use their “insider perspective” to aid in pedagogy about classroom use – it may be difficult to bridge the gap from being a user of let’s say Facebook to a facilitator for classroom practice.
I wonder….
  • Does age have anything to do with use of social media use from teachers (The teacher was in her late twenties and I am in my mid twenties)?
  • Should districts offer professional development for teachers who have no experience with being an online writer?
  • How can a balance be created so students don’t feel like their “whole life existed online “(as the middle school teacher put it) but still can use online writing to connect to people?

I like the fact that the teacher had a separate profile for her students than her more social adult one and I can see how doing this as an educator could help build relationships and solidify a teacher being a normal person. However, it is not my personal preference to have a Facebook (I’ve had one in the early years of undergrad before the significant changes to a more open community) for teacher or personal use. I am also in agreement with the authors that “young people too will face some risks in writing for global audiences (254),” but disagree that the move made by the teacher when she had a problem on Facebook just “to shift forward and start a new conversation (250) is a best practice for students to do when they meet challenge through online writing.”

I appreciate the author’s acknowledgement of the shortcomings or challenges to social media in regards to students and teachers. In fact, I have some of the same thoughts in regard to teachers and students use. “In our local, state, and national news, privacy concerns were already perennially hot topics— from cyber bullying to online predators to “teachers- gone-wild-on-the-web” posting saucy profile pictures (e.g., Riepenhoff & Richards, 2007; Shapira, 2008) to debates over new policies governing teachers’ and students’ socializing with new media (e.g., Ash, 2009). After all that, who wouldn’t be afraid?”

This is Lizzie: Like you Dominique I read this article too! I found it very interesting that the teacher had a different facebook profile for both students and adults. While I am a facebook user, I do not think it is a good idea to be friends with your students. I know there are privacy settings, but there are still ways to see what you have put on the internet. We need to remain professionals in the eyes of our students and the surrounding community. I mainly use Facebook to "stalk" and I am very careful as to what I put on my Facebook page.