Ok, so this is the assignment for this blog: “Find an infographic or article about how faculty (higher education) are using and/or reacting to social media, MOOCs, and/or other “disruptive” technologies.”
I found myself a little baffled at the start of this assignment because I didn’t know what an infographic or an MOOC were. I spent some time on Google and was able to learn a little more about each. Apparently an infographic is just a picture representation of information, a graph. I probably could have figured that out on my own, but now I know! And MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. Apparently, this is a new idea in which there is an online class available to anyone who wants to take it. It sounds like a nice idea to me to be able to open up classes for more people, and it seems that most of the learners are not college students. I would imagine someone is making money off of this somehow, but it is supposed to be lower cost than a university. I wonder if people are given grades for classes such as this or if it is more about the learning than the credentials. Would all test materials have to be multiple choice so that the computer can grade it? If the enrollment is unlimited, I don’t know how a teacher could grade essays for example. Overall, I find it to be an interesting idea, and I am always a fan of lifelong learning. In that spirit, I still have a lot to learn about MOOCs, and I would imagine this is not the last I will hear about the concept. Here is where I found some useful information about it: MOOC
On a side note, I’ve learned how to do a link in a blog! I might get the hang of this blogging thing yet!
Ok, so in the spirit of continued learning and better understanding of this assignment, I looked more into “disruptive” technology that some people call Facebook! I found an interesting, sarcastic article from a professor who gets sick of students being on Facebook in class. (See, I embedded the link this time) I din’t think the satirical video was as helpful as he seems to think it is, but maybe it will be useful for someone. It does seem like students being on Facebook in class is a problem, but he magnifies the ramifications just a little bit ;-).
Social media can be a distraction for many students, but I have seen some good use of Facebook to help college students. When I was working at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Counseling Services, my coworker used a Facebook page to keep people updated on a group he and I were leading. Men of Strength is a group of male students who get together to find ways to reduce instances of gender based violence such as rape and domestic violence. For years it was seen as a women’s issue, but men can play an important role in reducing sexism and these types of violence. We can all take steps to keep people safer from acts of violence. By technical terms, the counselors at UH Hilo were hired as faculty, so this sort of counts as faculty using Facebook for student benefit. If you would like to learn more about Men of Strength, feel free to follow this link: Men of Strength. It’s a cause that is close to my heart and much of the work I do as a counselor.
There! I didn’t know what I was going to write about when I first saw this assignment, but I was able to learn a bit about use of technology in classes and talk about a cause that is important to me.