Search form

Back to Blog

Redefining 'Class Participation' With Facebook

This guest blog post was made by EducationWorld Web Assistant Joseph Murphy, a student at Furman University in Greenville, SC.

Students in the 21st century live and breathe technology. Cell phones are fused to their hands, ear buds are glued in their ears, and any kid can find the answer to a question in .5 seconds through the Web. With technology being the number one way in which young people communicate with their friends, why can’t technology also be a way to communicate for the purpose of learning?

Teachers are becoming more amenable to the idea of integrating technology into instruction. Smart Boards appear in classrooms across the U.S., and online programs such as Conjuguemos and Physics Classroom are being used as homework assignments.

Students have always received grades that represent formative and summative assessments—from small homework and classroom assignments to large projects and tests. But how should teachers assess participation? In a Language Arts class, participation could mean sharing one’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet; in a Government class, it could mean offering an opinion of the latest bill up for debate. What if this participation could be assessed not just in the classroom, but also at home?

I took an AP Language and Composition class during my senior year of high school. A large component of that class was discussion, but with 25 students, not everyone got to share his or her views. This is where technology helped. We would go home and have our usual reading due for the next day, but at some point during the night, we also had to post opinions in a Facebook group that included the members of our class as well as our teacher.

We were encouraged to post because it counted toward our grades, but over time, most of us began to want to post in the Facebook group to put in our “two cents” (more like two paragraphs). This format benefited the group, because we could “like,” comment, post links, share pictures and return to previous conversations, all with the click of a button.

Not only did the frequency of class discussions increase, but students also were able to explore the topic more deeply than they would have in a 40-minute class period. Tech-enabled discussion also gave the “shy guy” an opportunity to share his opinion without the “stage fright” component of speaking in front of a whole class.

While students benefit enormously from using the tools they know best (technology and Facebook), teachers also benefit. Think about it—it’s much easier to grade a student on what s/he said during a discussion when the comments appear concretely in a Facebook group. Instead of fearing technology, teachers should use it to strengthen and expand class discussion.

Education World®          
Copyright © 2012 Education World


Negative Factors That Are Evaluated...

I hope you find these hiring tips helpful. Remember first impressions count!

  • Poor personal appearance---dress for success but don't over do it. It is very important that you dress and look like a professional. This is not the time to dress in your most trendy outfit. Leave the 10 pounds of jewelry at home.
  • Overbearing/aggressive/conceited/know it all attitude. You should be confident that you can do the job if given the chance but certainly do not come across as if...

Beginning the Interview

In today's world, interviewing can be on-line or in person.  Many of these tips can be used in either case.

  • Arrive early (about 15 minutes) this gives you time to freshen up and to make sure all of your electronics are working.
  • Go over your resume-one more time.
  • Many administrators are conservative by nature, either personally or for their school's image. Look your best. Administrators know that usually the candidate will be dressed the best that they will...

Choose Love

Do you remember what you were doing on December 14, 2012? I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was working in my office at a university when I suddenly began receiving messages about a school shooting in Connecticut. I kept reading and reading, and then I would cry because I could empathize with those teachers as I had been in a classroom not too long ago. It is a day I will never forget -- the day the...

National Shakespeare Day is April 23rd

In Great Britain, Shakespeare Week is celebrated in the middle of the month of March!
The anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is...

Politics in Education -Tips From...

I have spent over 50 years working in education from K-university. I have seen my fair share of educational politics on all levels. As school administrators you need to be aware of this in order to stay out of the political battles that you might arise. I have been a K-12 educator in 9 school districts in 5 states. I have also been a school board member and a university professor that worked with educational leaders. I have seen excellent school boards and superintendents and not so good...

Before the Interview

Improving your interviewing skills is important as a teacher or administrator. Here are some tips that might help you land that job!

  • Obviously, find out the correct time, place, day and whether the interview will be in person or on a zoom meeting prior to the interview. It can be embarrassing and a job killer if everyone is not on the same page. Our school is located in Egypt so most of our interviews are on zoom with time differences of 6-9 hours in the States with different...

Tips for Interviewing: Questions to Ask

Good interviewers have developed critical attributes of effective interview questions and questioning techniques. Interviewing is one of the most important ways to see if your candidate is a "good fit" for your school. Interviews can be both in person and virtually but the components of interviewing are very similar.  I currently work in an American international school in Cairo where we try to hire as many Americans as we can for all faculty and administrative positions. The great majority...

Dealing With a Conflict

Conflict between and among people is a fact of school life. Something that can be unpleasant at best but you will have to deal with conflict on an almost daily basis.

As the educational leader, constituents may want to talk to you about a conflict or problem they have with someone or a situation. Frequently, they just want to talk to someone about the problem and do not want you to do anything about it. They just want to talk about the conflict and may solicit your advice. You have...

A Most Unusual Parade! A Parade of...

A most unusual parade in Cairo, Egypt, happened on Saturday, to honor 22 very important mummies(18 kings and 4 queens), including Ramses 2 and Queen Hatshepsut ( first female ruler of ancient Egypt).

The royal mummies, dating back more than 3000 years in age, made their way through the streets, at sunset, each in specially made golden colored carriages, with their names spelled out in Arabic , English and...