|Image credit: Hunter, Mark. Social Media Workstation|
December 15, 2009.
"The answer is 'It doesn't really matter.'"
Um ... oh, gosh, I know this one .... um ... "What happens when you don't put something on Facebook?"
Take that, Watson.
One of the many things that our Perspectives in Literature classes study is media literacy and the application of technology. The recent events in Egypt and other Mid East countries have directed that dialogue toward using the social media tools. We've had some great discussions from our students regarding what purposes it gets used for, and the impression of how it has been used on the world stage. One comment that stood out from the rest: "When it goes on Facebook or Twitter, it makes it official." That opened a whole other thread of discussion such as it's not the tool to use when breaking up with someone, announcing parties, gloating, and so forth.
There was another thread of comments that discussed the "degree of things mattering." It would be easy to categorize what teens post are not nearly as important as what "adults" post, but that wouldn't be the case. Students who use Twitter and Facebook post links to assignments, readings and online resources along with their normal business. The ratio is still skewed toward more social concerns and "low importance" events, but they get it. They have tapped into the potential for academic dialogue, and the students who use it regularly fell more empowered regarding their studies.
As a student in the Instructional Technology cohort, it has been easier to participate - yeah, participate - in the discussion. Demonstrating how Twitter can be more than just passing along the location for the best enchilada is one thing - conversing with students regarding a technology that is second nature to them is so much more rewarding. Chalk up another trick learned by the ol' dog in front of the classroom.
I think I'm going to Tweet my post on Facebook.