Facebook should create an education platform

English: Classroom in SIM University.
English: Classroom in SIM University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been teaching at Colorado Mesa University for almost six years. What began as a co-adjunct position teaching a Desktop Publishing course, evolved into a full-time instructor position in which I teach five courses per semester and covering 10 total course titles. I am also the faculty adviser to the student magazine and co-adviser to the school’s chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists. I keep busy, and I love it.

My first full year as an adjunct, I began teaching a course called “Web Content Development.” The previous instructor had primarily taught basic web design, but I felt teaching communication majors about web design was a little like teaching journalists how to fix the printing press.

Instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts of HTML, file management, and FTP clients, I redesigned the course to focus on social media as a communication medium. Facebook was about three years into its proliferation into the mainstream and Tumblr was brand new.

In order to get the students to use social media, I made it mandatory for all students to join a class Facebook group. Only four students in the class were on Facebook and one was on Twitter (but never used it). One or two students claimed that they had some sort of moral/ethical objection to joining Facebook, so I gave them a pass. Less than four weeks into the class every one of the students had joined – even those who had originally objected.

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Why does busy work even exist in schools?

 

English: A tutor with this students in the cla...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the days before break, whether it be summer, winter, spring or Columbus Day, teachers and students are hit with an anxiousness that detracts from ultimate productivity. Teachers don’t want to grade, students don’t want to sit in class.

The solution: busy work. Multiple-choice quizzes, word searches, crossword puzzles, fill-in-the-blank worksheets, etc. The argument for these types of assignments is that they provide exposure to the material in a fun or easy format. In reality they are popular because they keep students busy working on something and they are easy to grade. They are better than watching a movie – right? Not necessarily.

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April edition of Castellini on Computers podcast

Podcast: Play in new windowThis month we discuss the evils of Norton Antivirus, how to troubleshoot obscure crashes, choosing the right tech for your student, the impact of iPhone 4 on modern journalism and much more.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work by adamc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.