Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Teaching Tip #134

Teacherscribes Teaching Tip #134

Use Facebook.  Im serious.  Its such a great teaching tool.

Why? Here are some ways.

First, how often do intelligent people share things that are either totally false - like the below post about schools in Finland, which is absolutely false.

Or posts that don’t reveal all of the “facts,” as the viral video shared by some of my friends about a social experiment that shows how easily kids can be abducted (fair enough here), but then don’t claim that 700 kids are kidnapped every day in America (which is absurd).

You see anyone with a little technical know how can create a meme and post it to Facebook.  It doesnt matter if its based on a shred of truth or not.

Have kids find ten suspicious posts on Facebook and bring them to class the next day.  See if any are in common.  If so, hey, the kids BS detectors arent bad.  Then have them do some research to find if the post is accurate.  If it is, have them explain why.  If it is inaccurate, have them explain why and then leave feedback to the person who posted the FB post!  Talk about writing for the real world!

Or, and this one isnt for everyone, have them create a slightly fictitious FB meme and see how many of their Friends will share it.  Or will anyone catch on to the lie?

I think all of this is an engaging and relevant way to introduce and teach critical thinking and research skills.  All using Facebook which most students (at least most still today) use on an hourly basis.

A note - Im not saying this is the end for their critical thinking and research skills.  This would be the beginning.  From this, Id see if they can find a topic of interest to research using more traditional means.  From there, Id eventually have them work on an infograph, presentation, or research paper as an end assignment.

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