As educators we are suppose to model good problem solving practices. In problem solving we ask students to consider all options, to weigh the pro's and cons, and to think about things from different points of view. Is that type of process being used to think about this issue?
If you find that you are in the same boat as I here are some questions you may want to use to make your decision.... "What might be the most positive outcome of using this type of technology with students?" Could it be possible to find what the benefits might be and to weigh those against the effort that is going to be needed to manage the tools. Could "How might this work?" be more productive than "This will never work."? That might lead to dialogue about how the tools could be managed and what the by products of using social networking sites might be. It might be found that using social networking tools will allow educators to teach students appropriate use so that they become responsible users that model digital citizenship. Which then begs for the question "What roles might (should) students play in this process?"
This is an exciting time for teachers and students alike and I can't wait to see where we go. But it all makes me wonder....were there these kinds of debates when someone proposed using chalkboards, quills, parchment, pencils, paper, staples, ink pens, paperclips, typewriters, tape, calculators, dry erase boards, overhead projectors, word processors, computers, interactive whiteboards, etc? I am sure there were!
Here are a few resources that may help you in making your choice on how or if you might use social networking with your students:
The Why and How of Using Facebook For Educators – No Need to be Friends At All!
Social Media in the Classroom: The Power of Facebook
Facebook for Educators Guide
Facebook In The Classroom. Seriously.