Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Social media blackout eye-opening, “annoying”

Liz Exo’s Blog Post:
Recently Harrisburg University banned access to any and all social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, AOL…etc.) on the school’s network for an entire week. It was meant to serve as a reminder to students to see just how much they are hooked on these websites and how much time they spend on them during class or instead of focusing on academics.

The point of this experiment was not to show that Facebook or Twitter has a large impact of student grades (because research has shown that it really does not affect grades), but rather to make students more aware of how it distracts them during class. Many college professors have noticed that in lecture classes students just log in to facebook and ignore the lecture.

After the week ended, students reported that the ban was “annoying,” and students still found ways around the ban (using private networks or blackberry phones to log onto facebook). The article also leaves us with something important to think about… should the students’ bad reactions to the ban warn us about how students will adjust in the workplace?


eschmidt said...

I will admit that I am personally addicted to facebook. If IWU decided to run the same experiment, I would probably reach a state of panic. When taking a step back and looking at this addiction, I will admit that it truly seems a bit silly or a "waste of time." At the same time, it is something that our generation has grown up with. Realistically, social networking is here to stay. Even schools and businesses are using it as a means of connecting with their potential students and clients.
As future educators, I think that we need to properly teach our students how to be 'smart' and safe while using online social networks.

scalhoun said...

I certainly hope that IWU never tries this experiment. It's sad, but even while reading this, I tried to think of ways I could cheat. I think I have a slight Facebook addiction, but at the same time, almost everyone in our generation does. Social networking is generally the only way people stay in touch now; whether they moved away from friends for college, or whether someone found a classmate from 30 years ago.

I think that if there were a way to ban Facebook only during a students' class time, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, that is nearly impossible; everyone has different class times.

This is a large testament to how careful we need to be as teachers when our students are working on the internet. There will always be smart phone or internet proxies; students will probably always find a way to get around banned websites. We just need to keep an eye out while we're teaching.