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Are Your Students Facebooking in Class?!?

Facebooking in classIf not, maybe they should be. Here’s why…

So, I’ve posted before about not being sure how to integrate social media into my classroom in interesting and meaningful ways. I have to thank my students for recently opening my eyes to a productive use of Facebook in the classroom.

I had asked my students to write and revise content on an in-class exercise. In this particular class, it’s common that students come from the same program and know each other pretty well. This happened to be the case with two students working together. As I was walking the room making sure students were doing what they were supposed to be doing, I noticed the team messaging back and forth on Facebook. I asked if they were already finished with the exercise. They said they weren’t but they were sharing content back and forth. Whaaa?

“It’s so much easier,” they said, “to share content back and forth in messenger.” “And,” one said, “you can copy like entire papers and post them. I pretty much get an immediate response when I post class stuff there.”

This made me start thinking about my online courses. Have all of my students thought of this? How much easier would this make course review work? I’ve set up Facebook pages for my online classes before, and we’ve used them for sharing ideas and links to articles, but never in class to work on content.

I’m imagining using this in several ways now. Online meetings…through Facebook chat. Group collaboration…try Facebook. Real-time file sharing…Facebook.

So, the next time you think you’ve busted your students updating their status to “Could this class be any more boring?”, they might actually be using Facebook to improve their writing.

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