Using Facebook In the Classroom (Revisited)
I posted an article about using Facebook in the classroom” on several teachers’ web sites and I got the following response:
Steve: I found your plan for using facebook on the esl teacher's board. I teach English in Egypt. I have a contact who teaches in Florida, U.S. We want to use your idea - thank you very much for sharing. We are thinking of making a page just for this purpose. Do you still recommend facebook for pen pals, and do you mind a couple more questions? Thank you again for your time.
This article aims to expand the original idea of using Facebook. Here is my reply to the teacher in Egypt:
Dear Teacher in Egypt: The key point: my students check their facebook BEFORE their email. How can I use this information to further their learning?
a) When I bulk-email my students, most email providers consider my messages as "junk" because I have 20 or more names in the SEND or BCC category.
b) It's also easier for some teachers to remember a FACE than a name or email address... so I highly recommend a facebook page for each separate class.
The down side: students between classes have to work harder to share their details. Sometimes it is good to keep them separate because they can build an 'in-class' camaraderie.
Please let me know about your success. I'm creating a page on my web site teacherstoteachers.com to catch these ideas, and in www.FreeEnglishLessons.com (ready in January, it has malware right now, don't visit it!) Write tosteveEnglishTeacher@hotmail.com.
Here is the original article:
The article begins with a letter to the teacher…
Dear Teacher Using Facebook in the classroom
How do we build bridges? One of the challenges of teaching “the next generation” is finding an activity that can be engaging and stimulating, as well as using the four areas of instruction (Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening).
This exercise can start as a one-off lesson (with students designing their FACEBOOK page) and can evolve into an on-going activity that can build over several weeks and continue after the students have finished their studies at our school.
Step One: Get on Facebook. That’s right. If you don’t have a Facebook account, get one.
Step Two: Ask students to “become friends” with you and with each other. (This step can take place in the classroom with the smartboard… let each student search for their facebook account via your account)
Step Three: Set up pairs and get students to do one of the “interactive games” that are on Facebook. (This is an activity in the Media Center).
Step Four: Ask students to send you a message by email or by message via Facebook.
Speaking: Pairs explain “how to set up a facebook account” and “how to participate in the interactive game”
Listening: the other person in the pair listens to instructions given by the teacher and by the knowledgeable student who has a Facebook account
Writing: students have to send you a message (you can give points to students for completing stages on a checklist).
Reading: Following instructions on Yagura (cooking game) and Knighthood (a castle-building activity) gives students a chance to work in pairs. The teacher knows that the students have completed the task because “food” is sent to the teacher (in the Yagura game) and the Knight announces that the player has achieved a new level (when the student completes 5 steps successfully).
This packet gives the teacher and students a fulfilling activity that can continue in the weeks following introduction of the activity. More practice comes when students introduce the class to additional interactive games. Good luck. If you wish to learn more or if you have questions, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954 646 8246 or send a message to my FACEBOOK account at Steve English Teacher.
Then I have two worksheets (including some vocabulary lists)
Handout 1: Yagura
Hello, Student. This activity begins in your FACEBOOK account. If you don’t have a facebook account, you can register or you can work with a student who has a FACEBOOK account.
1. Click on FRIENDS tab
2. scroll down to Find People
3. type Roadlovers or Steve McCrea (Find Fort Lauderdale) and click “Search”
4. Click on “Add as Friend”
Then tell the teacher that your INVITATION has been made. (The teacher needs to accept you as a friend).
Next, look for the reply from the teacher. You will receive an invitation to join Yagura. You will need to accept the activity (“allow access”).
[If you are impatient, you can SEARCH for “Yagura” in the Search box on your Facebook account. Select the first “Yagura” in the list and ACTIVATE the activity.]
Read the instructions (HOW TO PLAY)
Click on the first game (how to cook tempura shrimp).
VOCABULARY practice (do you know all of these words?)
clicking the “rearrange food” tag
live prawn tempura
according to the number of finished dishes
pot mushy noodles
pan al dente
a hot pad underdone
a trivet scald
a spatula burned
a blender you spilled it
a ladle you ruined it
When you are finished with the first game, send food to your facebook friends, including Roadlovers or Steve McCrea (the teacher)
If you still have time before the end of the class, you can try a second activity (preparing noodle soup).
How many points do you get when you send food to a friend? _________
Correct the errors (with your partner)
You have cook the shrimp AFTER you put it in the flour
You must to type your password there.
He tell us to sent him the food after we finish one game.
Which score is more worse, the noodles or the shrimp?
Handout 2: Knighthood (1 / Introduction)
If you sent your FACEBOOK invitation to the teacher, you will receive an invitation to join Knighthood. It is an activity that requires listening and careful reading. Through cooperation with other “knights,” you can build a strong castle.
Step 1. Click on the Knighthood invitation (join the game)
Step 2. Do the Tutorial. (read the instructions on the screen, spend some of your gold and you will win more gold). Put your workers in the Marketplace so they can earn gold every hour.
Step 3. Recruit more workers (vassals) by sending invitations to your list of contacts on Facebook. Since everyone in the class will have a Knight account, you can’t invite someone in the class to join the game (they are already in the game).
Step 4. The invitation is enough to give you some more workers. Follow directions: Find the new workers in the COURT and put some of your new workers in the Marketplace (to earn gold) and put workers in the Castle (to build more buildings). You can build quickly if you spend gold wisely.
Step 5. There is a limit to the number of workers that you can add to the game per day, so plan ahead. Remember to invite more facebook accounts (“add as Friends”) to join the next day.
1. Find new words and ask someone “what does this mean?”
2. What is another way to recruit workers? (the first way is to click on your Facebook Friends)
3. What do workers do when they stand in the COURT?
Handout 3: Knighthood (2 / Advanced)
You are ready for the next part. You will notice that there is something called “The Garrision.” You must build the Garrison to open up the next level of the game. As soon as you complete the Garrison, you are in a state of war. You need to “turn off” the war. Your task is to figure out how to do this. You can ask the teacher or you can go to the HELP tab and read the helpful FAQ page.
After you build the wall, palisade and tower, how many workers do you need to protect your castle? Some students don’t have enough friends on FACEBOOK to include in the game, so they need to invite more people to join Facebook.
1. What are you able to do after you build a Garrison?
2. What is the difference between UPGRADE and EXPAND or BUILD?
3. What are new words for you? Bring them to class and be ready to ask questions.
EXTRA READING: Click on HELP, then click on KNIGHTHOOD FAQ. Find new words and learn strategies for success. Is this a friendly game or a “dangerous” game? What will happen to you if you are attacked? How can you prepare to go to war?
Which of these words are nouns or verbs? Which words are old and which words can we use today? Vocabulary: Garrison, recruit, trap, palisade, alliance, benefactor, sword, hammer, pike.
What is the feminine?: Baron, Duke, Viscount, Knight, Vassal, servant.
Reading the FAQ: The reading exercise is clear: If you don’t make time to look at the frequently asked questions, you’ll wonder why you can’t get swords. Here are the tips for the harried teacher: After building the Garrison, build a Hospital and a Workshop. Later, when you expand your Garrison to size 5, you can build a Guardhouse. A size 5 Hospital allows you to build a Tower. A size 5 Workshop allows you to build the Church. With a size 5 Guardhouse, you can build a Trapper. A size 5 Tower lets you build a Blockhouse. A size 5 Church lets you build an Outpost. These are useful defensive buildings. (from the Knighthood FAQ).
Another important section of the FAQ begins with: The more and stronger vassals you have and the more equal they are in strength, the more powerful you will be. (Learning to search a document and scanning are two skills that many students need to improve.)
For more tips, read the FAQ. If you have comments, let me know!.
There are fun activities like Eco Racer, Blue Cove and Green Patch that are a bit boring over time but useful for introducing new vocabulary. I also like the Chess game on Orkut.com. I recommend cyworld.com for Korean students. Be flexible, teachers! Some students don’t want to sign up on Facebook.
Send me your comments.
Steve McCrea (use this email to find me on Facebook)