Friday, February 7, 2014

This is why you should use Pinterest for all your class social media needs

Dear students, if you post things on Twitter, I CAN SEE THEM. If you are in a class list that I manage (and you should know this - it's that notification that I added you to the class list that you got two weeks ago), THEY COME RIGHT TO ME. I didn't think my opinion of you could be lowered. You have exceeded my expectations. Not in a good way.

I am NOT impressed.

Dr. Amelia


  1. I think the best thing to do with students is shoot them and put them out of my misery.

    Seriously, folks, these are the jokes. But that's the kind of unprofessionalism we should strive to avoid on this new excellent website that Ben has made us.

    Dr. Amelia is right, though. They don't seem to think social media goes beyond their five flippy hair friends.

    Solis Brauer!! Let the chips fall.

  2. I've occasionally heard something like "Just when you think you've made it idiot-proof, someone builds a better idiot."

    How sad it is that when they exceed our expectations, so often it's not in the heights to which they soar, but in the depths to which they sink.

  3. One question this raises is whether we should be trying to conduct class business over the medium students also use to conduct their social lives. I'm agnostic on this one; I haven't tried using either facebook or twitter in my classes, but some of my colleagues have, apparently to good effect. Others are headed in the opposite direction: no electronics in the classroom, minimal use of the LMS, etc. I can see the arguments for both, and hope that proffies will continue to be free (within reason) to choose the means of instruction that they believe works best for both them and their students (if students can have learning styles -- whether or not they actually do -- then proffies can have teaching styles, and bosses management styles, and so on, no?) .

    In the meantime, students could, of course, just create separate social media profiles for school/professional purposes. But that brings us full circle to the "build a better idiot" problem.

    1. Also, I don't get pinterest. I've browsed it a few times, and sort of understand the principle, but can't think of anything I'd want to do with it (and/or can think of better platforms for pretty much anything I would want to do).

    2. I landed on a Pinterest page while searching for an image of some kind. I was like, "what schizophrenic soul would disgorge such optical cacophony?" My cursory examination didn't any stunning new tool.

    3. Dangit. I'm only getting about 50% of my comments without some kind of finger jitter on the tablet screen that wipes out a whole word. "didn't [reveal] any stunning new tool."

  4. I kind of like knowing what they think of me. It's fun to work it into a conversation with them.

  5. I am genuinely curious about why anyone thinks this is a good idea: making "online social media" part of how we interact with students. To me this violates an important boundary, the "I am not like you at all, and don't even think about pretending that's the case". I like the distance, and I truly don't care what they're saying to their roommates or online "friends". They need to start creating sharp boundaries between their work time and mindset and their social lives/leisure time, and I think we help them by keeping these boundaries very clear in how we deal with them. So yeah, I'm unrepentantly old-school about that.

  6. Ah, but you're supposed to be "accessible" to your students. After all, all the *good* profs, instructors, and teachers are palsy-walsy with them, or so I kept being told while I was teaching.

    When I was an undergrad, I would have been offended if my profs were like that. I looked up to them because they represented what I wanted to become. If they had tried to be buddies with me, they would have lowered themselves to my level. I didn't want them to be little different than me.

  7. Good post! I agree with modeling the concept of keeping the professional persona separate from any others. Two comments in a row (from PK and QWV) when taken together demonstrate that neither side wants a personal relationship. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

    I've had many examples of children being quite well behaved when with me, only to turn around and treat their own parents like dung. My unscientific reasoning is that while I was friendly to these kids, I did not try to be their friend. I was cordial and respectful and generally spoke to them as if they were smaller but less experienced versions of adults. I believe that they sensed that I was immune to manipulations that worked on their parents, so they didn't try. Their parents, I'm guessing, were more familiar. In no way do I want the students to think of me or treat me as they do their parents. And deep down, they don't want it either. They are not my friends, and they most certainly are not my peers.

    I see one benefit of using 'social media' to 'connect' with students: they are familiar with the operation of the tool, so it's 'meeting them where they are' in that sense. There is value in modeling how to use any tool professionally and to good effect. That said, I think it's also good for them to learn to expect to adapt to the better tools that professionals use.