How social media can change the classroom

Marcus Messner, right, at a recent discussion with the founder of Tumblr, David Karp.
Marcus Messner, right, at a recent discussion with the founder of Tumblr, David Karp.

Marcus Messner is one of the foremost researchers of social media use in journalism and higher education. All of his undergrad classes at Virginia Commonwealth University utilize WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, along with a slew of other platforms, depending on the class.

How does the classroom dynamic change when students can see each other’s work on sites like WordPress, Facebook and Tumblr?

It’s a whole new paradigm from ten years ago. To me, the openness of these platforms means that students and professors need to learn together. I try to be upfront from my students: Yes, I have expertise on the topic, but I certainly don’t know everything, and I will learn from you at times. That’s not always easy to say.

Do you ever get frustrated by having to keep up with all of these platforms?

I actually find it more efficient, because I no longer wake up in the morning to 150 e-mails. So much of my classroom communication is channeled into Facebook and Twitter. I try to make myself available during normal business hours. But when I’m not there, the students are helping each other. Also, realistically, e-mail is just not the best way to communicate with students any longer. They are far more willing to engage in conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think of exposing your classroom to advertising by utilizing Facebook?

In our closed Facebook space, there is no advertising content, yet. If that changes, perhaps I will reconsider. Of course, when students use it privately, there is advertising. But I have never had to tell a student to create a Facebook account for a class, because I’ve never had a student that didn’t have one already.

What should students consider before engaging with classroom social media?

Before I use Facebook in my class, I always have the students look at each other’s pages and see how much they can access and how much inappropriate content there is. I try to walk them through all of the ethical pitfalls of engaging on these platforms and how to clean up their pages when they’re entering the job market.

 

 

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.