Facebook – Assignment 3 Venture Pitch

Well after several tries I think I have got it. To view my power point presentation you will need to go to this site http://avan22.wordpress.com/etec-522/ and just click on the ETEC 522 tab and you will find the power point link there. The word files might not work so just incase I will post them up here so you can check them out.



Thank you



1 Michael Awmack { 11.24.08 at 9:06 pm }

I definitely support exploring the use of Facebook for educational purposes. While the pros and cons were discussed, greater emphasis could be made on the value added by Facebook (i.e. What makes it better than Moodle?). Also, a clearer identification of what is being asked of investors/stakeholders could make this stronger.

2 Bruce Spencer { 11.25.08 at 6:57 am }

You have taken an existing social networking tool and attempted to put an educational twist to it. The technology itself is sound and very popular amongst school age children and young adults. It’s also used extensively world wide.

I’m worried about how you plan to sell this to kids, however. Facebook already has a purpose and I don’t believe students are going to be sold on using it for anything else other than a place to socialize. Facebook and school work. Yuck!

3 Jagpal Uppal { 11.25.08 at 7:30 pm }

Hi Amber,

I like your idea of using facebook as it follows constructivist principles in building upon student’s existing knowledge and experience. Many of my students use it frequently, mainly for socializing, but on the odd occassion for school work (getting pictures for a project). I also like the point about teachers getting a separate account. For our school’s Ice Hockey team, I decided to set up a Google Group, and when I showed my kids all they said was “can’t we just set up a facebook group instead?”

I opted not to create a FB page for our team, but maybe I should as few kids are using the Google page. Facebook is definately a place where kids spend their time. While it has some positive benefits, our school district has been considering banning it from school access due to some of the cons. Mainly, cyber-bullying, over socializing…educational distraction, etc. That being said, I would definately explore this idea further.


4 Mary Burgess { 11.26.08 at 9:23 pm }

Hi Amber,

I really like the idea of getting people to use a technology they’re already familiar with for learning purposes, it would lessen the technical literacy issue. A couple of things about your pitch:

I’m not sure who your target audience was – other teachers? school administration? parents? students?

You listed quite a few cons (the bad and the ugly). I think your pitch would be stronger if you could address those cons and how you would get around them. For example, you say that some kids don’t have computers at home, so maybe you could say that FB would only be used in class?

You may also want to consider getting someone to proof read for you, there were some spelling mistakes.


5 Crystal Pullman { 11.26.08 at 10:12 pm }

Hi Amber,

Like others here I think that you have a good plan – using an already popular social networking site, just adding an additional component.

Also like others, I’m concerned about getting students to use it, but I think if you were to spin it right, make it interactive like FB then it could actually be quite successful. Here I’m thinking of things such as sending gifts to each other for jobs well done (though I’m assuming you wouldn’t post grades).

And, like Mary, I’m concerned that there are a number of spelling errors and grammatical errors in your presentation. With powerpoint, they’re easy enough to fix though.

Nice job on the powerpoint. As many of my friends would say, “Shiny!” It seems to be the new equivalent of “cool” .


6 Jarrod Bell { 11.27.08 at 8:09 pm }

Hi Amber, I think this is an important topic of conversation that should be considered in computer assisted/hybrid kind of classes where computers are frequently involved. Your powerpoint had some great thoughts about facebook but was somewhat distracting with the animations as well as some grammatical and spelling errors.

This is usually a point in a course when people flame me because I blocked facebook in my high school. I did this after consulting with students, parents, teachers, admin… This was followed by a newspaper article (that was very nice and talked to students who supported the decision) that outlined the fact that we did this as an intervention for students who were honestly not going to graduate because of sneaking into computer labs to use facebook, etc. The article was picked up by CP and went cross Canada and was followed by a provincial CBC radio interview. There was one negative response in the letters to the editor in the local paper, followed by a week of multiple supportive letters and phone calls from companies and other schools.

I spent some time trying to find positive uses for facebook and they are as you described in your pitch, but one of the kickers on my and another teachers attempts when we found an application one of the students had installed called “Guess how many indians are on the esquimalt bridge” The negatives outweighed the positives. We tried educational approaches to get kids to use it responsibly but in the end the number and frequency of complaints from admin, teachers, parents and students who were being bullied in horrible ways we had to pull the plug.

I think we should still teach our students netiquette and the good and bad things about social networking, but I think that facebook and myspace are places for people to socialize but not to be part of formalized education. There are much better and more focused solutions for that.

There is a wonderful opportunity for you to consult with a class of students as well as parents and administration (probably a school trustee should be invited as well) about the pro’s and con’s of using it for a school site. Document and have the students honestly reflect without fear of repercussion on their use in your class. Was I on task during class time on facebook? Did I do or see anything inappropriate for school during class? Was I exposed to this because I was in the class or because I was off task? What are the inappropriate things that I can find on facebook? (and discuss them as a class). Parents should also be asked to participate so that they actually get to know about it… I’ve recently heard of a group from an elementary VP called something like “how to fool your retarded parents on the internet”

I would suggest a very consultative process with this as a teacher I know who went full boar into communicating with students via facebook had an incident where a student (whose phone was later found to have been stolen had an open facebook account on it) wrote a sexually suggestive post to the teacher. The student had to explain themselves to a disciplinary hearing and the teacher has some very difficult moments to deal with as well.

Overall it is a place that we should tread very carefully together and if it is well setup it can be a vibrant online learning community.


7 Alex { 11.27.08 at 10:03 pm }

Hi Amber,

I faced minor problems with reading your PowerPoint presentation, but your pitch was succinct and clear. I can see your point that the use of Facebook in schools may be a logical step, but have a bit of mixed feelings about it. I am not sure whether every student would feel comfortable sharing their information through Facebook.

Some people are amenable to having an online presence, while others are not. Coding information is not as infallible as one would like to believe. There is always a way to get into a supposedly secure system. Also, private information can easily be copied and used for criminal acts. It is always the case that, until one becomes a victim of a crime, one does not know how vulnerable one is. Schools and teachers have the responsibility to keep the learning environment safe.

Although there is no cost involved, I cannot agree with the venture. Having said that, I wish the world were made up with only decent people.


8 David Wees { 11.27.08 at 11:18 pm }

Jarrod –

At my school instead of banning Facebook outright we’ve throttled it to like 1k per minute download. The students can see Facebook trying to load but have to wait for a half an hour for the page to load. It is much more cruel I think, we are working toward a more appropriate solution.

That being said, an application on Facebook that the kids can use outside of school would be neat, because they really do spend a lot of time there.

9 David De Pieri { 11.28.08 at 9:23 pm }

Hi Amber,

I started with your Power Point Presentation, and I two found meny speling erors, gramatical erors and slide 10 and 20 were very hard to read… two white fonts on a blue surface have re-acted with each other.

My impression, like everyone else, I would have concerns re: privacy issues. It’s a great idea to get an established site like FB to inform the masses, but I think, knowing kids, they would be too distracted doing other things in Face Book.

Slide # 16 is contradictory stating that FB is the site of choice but then, “Face book isn’t available to eveveryone – which explains its relatively low user count.” Slide 17 states that users must be members of one of 30,000 schools… my brother has a FB account and he is not affiliated to any school, likewise with my buddy Hutch.

Good idea Amber, but I think there are other software packages that are attempting or doing the same as you suggest.


10 Drew Murphy { 11.28.08 at 11:33 pm }

Hi Amber: Your advocacy of Facebook as an educational tool is, as others have mentioned, an important and useful project. Harnessing social software sites for educational use is slow to occur and your pitch does a good job of highlighting the potential that Facebook possesses for educators.

However, I think there are several issues still to be ironed especially around privacy and security. Perhaps in another version you might give some actual examples and suggest specific applications that teachers might engage in. Right now, I think most educators don’t possess a real understanding of practical applications for Facebook. With some compelling applications and evidence of learning, educators might be willing to comprise on the privacy and security concerns and the “value” of your pitch would become more obvious.

11 Marc Kampschuur { 11.29.08 at 2:08 am }


The pitch seems to be fitting a square peg into a round hole. Perhaps the reason students spend time on the site is because it is not educational (in the formal, school curriculum) sense.

Just because I have paper on my desk and pen in my hand does not mean am paying attention in class or taking notes, I could be in oblivion and drawing hence by directing students to face book it does not mean that they are automatically on task or learning.

I found the spelling, grammar and factual errors distracting to the pitch and reduce the overall credibility. Similarly, slides 10 and 20 seem to be two slides superimposed and illegible. Self review would identify that (same with the dead link on your e-portfolio page and the links in the powerpoint presentation).

What constitutes acceptable behaviour in school and out of school or socially may be different and this posses risks for students and teachers using the social networking utility for education.

Am unclear on what aspect of the pitch requires an investment, how it provides a return or the advantage of Facebook over other applications.


12 Laura Macleod { 11.29.08 at 10:23 am }


I love your idea of building on an existing technology that is already in high use in your target population. I think the tendency to reinvent the wheel all the time is hard to resist, but we may make better progress in increments.

A couple of concerns: I wasn’t clear on what the business you were pitching was. While I understand that the call to use Facebook more, the ‘value add’ wasn’t clear.

Second, your ppt was very busy. It is tempting to use all of the bells and whistles in presentation software, but these sometimes detract from the power of your ideas. Better to go a little more to the minimalist side and really focus on selling the ideas.

Thanks. Laura

13 Alan Kilistoff { 11.30.08 at 11:38 am }

Hi Amber:

I liked your presentation. I have used FaceBook in one of my classes in Dental school. The students are required to read assigned material each week and then summarize in 250 words. This was done on FB. As well they are to post pictures of their simulation work. This worked well, but I kept the proprietary material off this site. I was not confident in the security. One of the concerns was that we all received many requests to join and this took time to sort out. Fortunately after about 3 weeks this all but disappeared. The age group is much older than in public school, and some of the other issues pointed out were not a problem. It was somewhat difficult for me to keep tabs on all this as it is not well organized. For these reasons this year we are using Blackboard.

14 Amber Van Der Mark { 12.01.08 at 4:54 pm }

I would like to thank all of you for your replies. I have to admit grammar and spelling are not my strong points. I really appreciate all the responses thank you.

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