You want to use Facebook for your online course. Social networking is hot, and tapping into your students lives in familiar ways can be highly effective for sparking interest and conversation.
The problem is the same as the draw: Facebook is a social network, and one with ever-changing privacy options. The conversation you intend to spark is not one about a student's weekend party photos...
To avoid problems of exposing your students, or yourself, to a breach of privacy (Whose business is it that the student is even in your class? FERPA may want to know) why not set up your class on Edmodo instead of Facebook?
Edmodo works very much like Facebook, only the instructor has a great deal more control over who sees what. Ideas and files can be shared on a communal wall, assignments can be posted (and graded, if you want to use the integrated grade book), and while students and teachers can communicate privately, students cannot communicate privately with other students. Classes can even be archived.
Have you tried Edmodo? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!
Do you think it's safe, or wise, to keep student grades in this type of third-party online service? Share your thoughts below.