How Interview Contributes to My Understanding of My Issue
Facebook is a social function that links us with the people, brands, and institutions we are concerned about. By June 2013, Facebook had approximately 1.2 billion followers internationally, enabling make it a platform loaded with prospective for learning (Bosch 185-190). Facebook’s objective is to unlock and join the world. It is in this spirit that the platform has been functioning with schools, colleges, and other institutions to identify how the platform can be applied in and out of schools as a device for learning, and use its capacity to enhance learning results for young people.
It is in this spirit that I endeavored to conduct an email interview with Cynthia Ching, a computer teacher from Kyoshi high school in China about the effectiveness of Facebook in education. Mrs. Ching has been in the teaching profession for over ten years and is an ardent Facebook member since its establishment. The objective of this interview was to obtain an understanding of the importance of Facebook to learners and educators. The purpose of the interview was not only to discuss Facebook in terms of training, education purposes, or regarding its instructional value as such, but as well to provide a comprehensive understanding regarding the social utility users obtain from Facebook activities (Bosch 190-200). To obtain a good understanding of this issue, I asked Mrs. Ching, several questions about her understanding of Facebook and education. This interview comprised three main questions: how does Facebook help your students in their learning activities? Was Facebook a valuable resource in the instructor’s toolkit, which can be used in the classroom to engage ever more tech shrewd learners? Lastly, how does Facebook assist teachers in their work?
In her response to the question about how Facebook assisted her students in their learning activities, Ching admitted that Facebook assisted learners with their revision, and kept them informed about major assessment dates. Ching responded that she used her Facebook pages to aid her learners with their revisions in creating events on her page for the tests, in order that students can verify examination dates on their phone and organize their revision schedules. In replying to the question of the way the platform assisted teachers to plan their classroom work, Ching reported that Facebook assist teachers’ to upload lecture notes and charts to DropBox and then connect them with Facebook. This denotes that learners need not go searching for learning materials in libraries- materials are present in one location and accessible on their phones (Kabilan, Ahmad, and Abidin 179-185). Facebook also provides an opportunity for teachers to work in partnership with and gain knowledge from other educators. This interview provided an understanding that Facebook could be a valuable way to share important insights and information with other people, especially students and educators in a school setting.
However, using Facebook as an instructional tool elicited some questions about
the credibility of instructors from Facebook self-disclosure, the impacts of Facebook use on learner social availability and discussion, and impacts of Facebook on learners’ academic achievement, as well as learners’ perceptions toward Facebook (Kabilan, Ahmad, and Abidin 185-187). Additionally, there are worrying remarks that the use of Facebook in teaching and learning has very little educational utility because learners use the platform mostly to connect with several close people, and disclose more delicate information about them on Facebook, thus attracting potential confidentiality dangers to them (Mazman and Usluel 444-453).
Bosch, Tanja E. “Using online social networking for teaching and learning: Facebook use at the University of Cape Town.” Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research 35.2 (2009): 185-200.
Kabilan, Muhammad Kamarul, Norlida Ahmad, and Mohamad Jafre Zainol Abidin. “Facebook: An online environment for learning of English in institutions of higher education?.” The Internet and Higher Education 13.4 (2010): 179-187.
Mazman, Sacide Güzin, and Yasemin Koçak Usluel. “Modeling educational usage of Facebook.” Computers & Education 55.2 (2010): 444-453.