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Facebook – back on the agenda

15/02/2013

Should we ban Facebook?

I did it again! I gave a ‘lecture’ today, instead of creating an environment where students could actually be doing some learning. Why is it so difficult to let go of the old ways, when you know very well that they simply don’t work?!

During the workshop, well it was supposed to be a hands-on workshop but turned into a lecture instead, I noticed that some students were busy on Facebook. I thought to myself that the only reason for checking their friends’ updates would be me and my boring-style of ‘teaching’.

Yes, we could ban Facebook altogether, some countries actually opt for that, or I could simply improve my teaching. Which one is easier? Well, I doubt that the IT Services would be planning to ban FB anytime soon so I just have to get my act together.

I asked a fellow teacher, Howard, who is an expert on Feedback Technology by the way, he suggested to ‘make learning learners’ responsibility’. Hmm, I was keen to find out more. ‘How?’ I simply asked? ‘Get them to teach each other’ was the answer. So I started planning my next ‘workshop’ straight away. (I’m writing it down here so that I can remember it next week. I’ll have a group of students, around 25, in a PC Lab with FB access!)

Being a visual learner, I’ll cut out some square pieces of paper, preferably yellow. I think yellow is a bright, energetic and ‘smiley’ colour. I’ll place one on a PC so that the PCs on its right and left have no paper. The idea behind it is simply to call those with the paper to the ‘teacher’s’ PC at the front and show them the steps for a particular task. Then, those students will go back to their PCs and show their neighbours – one on the right and one on the left.

I haven’t come up with any ideas on what the others will be doing, whilst I’m showing the steps to the 1st group. FB perhaps?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against FB. If anything, it’s definitely helping me to be a better teacher by providing some competition in class! I think we teachers should be more responsive to the learners rather than reactive. Their actions say it all – ‘change your style or I won’t be wasting my time listening to you’. Would you waste your time?

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