That is not surprise. I am guessing that most schools still block Facebook from use by both teachers and students. I’ll admit, some of the reasoning for this sounds good. In the teacher’s case, administrators don’t want teachers sitting at their desks updating their status while their students are filling out worksheets at their desks. For students, the reasoning is not usually time related as much as it is in a fear of student bullying. We’ve all heard the stories and know the danger.
The problem I have with policies that are written with these ideas in mind is that blocking Facebook is not going to solve these problems. Any teacher that is going to waste time on Facebook in the classroom is going to find another way to waste time if Facebook isn’t available. In all reality, that teacher is probably still updating pages and messing around on Facebook using a mobile device.
The same is true for students who are going to bully; they are still going to bully even if Facebook is blocked. If they aren’t using technology to bully, they are still cornering the skinny kid in the bathroom and taking away his lunch money, talking behind his back, and taking pictures that are sent via MMS.
I think that phone use is a good example of this. Almost all schools have some sort of mobile phone policy in place. Students are not to be using phones during class, or in passing periods, or anywhere during school hours. The policies vary, but there is one action that makes all schools similar; students are still using the mobile devices during school hours. They are texting and sending pictures and updating their Facebook status. This is happening in the halls, in the library, in the lunchroom, and in every single classroom. To think otherwise would unreasonable.
Historically, “banning” has never worked very well in any community or civilization. Instead, maybe we should teach principles of responsibility and respect. Sure, people are still going to do stupid things, but that’s going to happen anyway. Just think of what we could accomplish if we could devote more time working with a tool than trying to stop people from using it.