Yesterday I gave a Education Institute webinar titled Facebook and MySpace: Pros and Cons for Libraries. Here’s a big honkin’ (10MB) pdf of my slides.
One of the questions that came up during the Q&A session was about curricular uses of MySpace (particularly in a high school setting) in which students can remain anonymous.
The basic idea is to have students use MySpace as a tool to get their content on the web. In doing so, they can create profiles for many other things besides themselves. Here are some ideas:
- Characters from a novel, or different novels. Blog posts and listing “likes and dislikes” must be made in the voice of the characters, and the characters must interact through comments. Maybe even dialog from the book should be expressed in the students own language.
- A historical figure. Same deal applies.
- Elements of the periodic table. Get creative with listing body type and the “About” section.
- Math equations. Students must use the blog posts to help teach others about the equation. When completed, the class will have created an online reference source.
- Same goes for parts of speech, vocabulary words, inventions, etc.
Do teachers ask students to do similar projects on paper? You bet. Might students forget the fact that their doing *school work* when completing projects framed in a social networking setting? I think there’s a pretty good chance. Some students might not care if their teacher thinks they’re slacking, but when their online reputations are at stake they might step it up. I’m sure they’d like to link to the funny and useful profile of the quadratic equation that they created.