Monday, December 10, 2007

Branching Out Into New Territory

After much prodding by my students, I finally joined Facebook. For the longest, I saw absolutely no use in it; it seemed just a frivolous waste of time. However, I've become convinced that my having a Facebook page will result in more students knowing what is actually going on in class more of the time.

Students inevitably check Facebook first thing when logging onto the internet. If they know that they can go to my page and be reminded of the due date for the next assignment, they will do that long before they will log into the school's server where I keep my class website. After exploring Facebook and its different applications, I have found that I can make my page a somewhat educational experience by adding news feeds and a "word a day" application. So as my students are goofing off online, maybe they will pick up some useful information that could actually turn into a good class discussion.

I'm continually finding that I have to go to where my students are if I'm going to be able to get them to learn what I need for them to learn. I'm hopeful that this will be a good experience.

(Of course, my students aren't the only people welcome at my Facebook page. If you know my real name so that you can find me there, I'll be glad to "friend" you.)


jettybetty said...

Yay--and I get to keep up with you in another way, too! Facebook is the second thing I check now--email is still the first.

JMG said...

I'm gonna go write on your wall!

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

I applaud you for going where your students are. The teachers who make the extra effort always make the biggest impact.

My ministry made a similar plunge when we started a MySpace page awhile back, and now it seems that I have more blog readers there than on my regular blog. I have not yet been able to bring myself to create a page on Facebook, but after reading a recent story on about drunken college students posting embarrassing photos of themselves, it seems that my guiding paw is needed.

JMG said...

Thanks for linking to that article, Mugsy.

"Another member of the Facebook group is more cautious. Laura, a 22-year-old business major, took down a drunken video of herself after being contacted by CNN for an interview, saying the request made her realize anyone could see her video.

She'd already made changes on her MySpace page after her parents saw a video there of her drinking. She made her MySpace page private, so only invited friends could look.

"It's good [my parents] saw it," said Laura, who asked that her last name not be used. "It's better they saw it than a potential employer."

Rather than change her behavior, she just made it harder for someone to look at her website. Typical. I hope she doesn't end up like the girl in my previous post.

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

Certainly; I thought it might interest you. I hate to see young people so carelessly sabotaging their future careers. It's so easy nowadays for an employer to find evidence of immaturity or poor judgment with a quick Web search.

That's why I post all my objectionable material under an assumed name.

JMG said...

HA! That's why I go by my initials here!