Sunday, July 05, 2009

Library2Play2 - Thing 5 - Microblogging

As always I can't seem to do Library2Play2 in order. No, I have to skip and jump around, just as I did with the original Library2Play.

Microblogging: Facebook is downright addictive but try though I might I just don't "get it" when it comes to Twitter. I suspect some of this is age and some of it is that I'm just not on my cell phone 24/7. I don't have the kind of job that lets me monitor it constantly (I have no clue how the myth evolved that librarians just sit around and read all day).

I can see students following their favorite authors, as well as following a politician as a current events assignment. It might be best however if they didn't follow SC Governor Sanford though.

Twitter could add an interesting twist on career assignments - if a student is interested in the law have her follow a lawyer.

I've been on Facebook for some time - just everyone else I've connected with people from my past and enjoyed the day to day peeks into the lives of my Facebook "friends". It can also be one of the biggest time wasters in the universe. The quizzes and the endless pie tossing and "lil green patch" are a mystery to me. Who has time to keep up with these and why do I keep getting them? They are Facebook's version of the endless e-mail forwards (all of which I delete too).

I've seen some interesting educational uses - the most prevalent being where the student creates a Facebook Page for a historical personage. A student could also do a Facebook "book report" - post a thought on each chapter as they go through the book. It would make it easy for the teacher to ensure the book was actually being read!

Facebook is an easy way for a teacher to create a class "web page" and keep in touch with parents. It's ideal for "helicopter parents" - the class Facebook Monitor could post hourly updates. The Twitter monitor could follow up with multiple tweets. Be idea for field trip updates.

Correct grammar and punctuation seem to be the norm for Facebook but not so Twitter which tends toward cell phone speak. So the former could be used as a language arts springboard, the former as perhaps an example of what isn't standard English.

While you can follow a Twitter feed on a computer, the medium is best used on cell phones. Before Twitter starts making great inroads in the schools said schools must revise their cell phone polices.

Technically one isn't supposed to have a Facebook (or a Myspace page) till age 13. I can atest from my own school experince that this rule is ignored on a regular basis. This is another can of worms that schools need muse about. I taught some lessons on thinking twice about posting to MySpace / Facebook to my 4th & 5th graders. Many teachable moments since it seems every day one celebrity or athlethe is in news for posting without thinking!

Do these mircorblogging tools fill a need in education? Yes, though at this time mainly as a real time communication tools. Given time I can see them incorporated in standard assignments too.


VWB said...

Some FB users haven't figured out you CAN get those perfect answers to the quizzes without recommending 12 of your friends.

I will admit I do enjoy bits of time on FB...virtual teacher lounge moments! :-)

LuvnAces said...

I created a Facebook account a while back due to peer pressure. Since then, I've added about 15 friends, either through work relationships or personal friends, or both. Although I look every once in a while to see what's being posted, I rarely communicate through it. I've literally seen (witnessed) others who are addicted to it, but I'm not there. I'm interested in using it as a venue for communicating with the Housman community and/or my students' parents. I might get with you to see what ideas you have or have tried.