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Field Notes

kcharris's picture


The history teacher at my placement is a huge supporter of technology. She even has her students bring in their personal laptops to class everyday because all of their work is online. At my last visit, she was encouraging her students to use their school email addresses to communicate with each other instead of using Facebook as a means of communication because not everyone has a Facebook. Her point was that it isn't fair to use social media when communication via that means isn't accessible to everyone. However, she proceeded to tell her students that they should take out their smart phones and sync their school email to their phones.

So what?

This stuck out to me because I found it to be odd that this teacher was willing to accept that no everyone has a Facebook but she then made what seemed to be a generalization about smart phones and the ability to sync email. It made me think about how we think about Facebook now. In class, I recall we marveled at the fact that everyone in the class had a Facebook or at least enjoyed it. My placement teacher applauded those who didn't have a Facebook because they are off the grid and colleges/employers won't be able to see anything about them online. I just found it to be interesting that she was happy that not everyone has a Facebook but she made the quick assumption that each of her high school students had a smart phone.

Now what?

I definitely want to keep thinking about this idea of online communication. These students were having conversations online about their school activities but not everyone was privy to it. This reluctance didn't seem to be malicious to me at all. I think they just thought of Facebook first when they realized that they need to be in constant contact with each other. They were also very skeptical of the efficiency of using email or a Google Doc to communicate as an alternative to Facebook. I want to keep exploring how they're using online spaces to communicate and critically evaluate how I use online spaces to communicate. Furthermore, I want to see if I have the preconception that certain spaces are more efficient than others just because I'm more accustomed to them.


alesnick's picture

Norms and swarms!

The establishment, even unintentionally, of social norms and expectations regarding computer use is so fast to take hold.  I think your focus on communication and the choices people (yourself included) make of communication platforms is very important.

mfarbo's picture

Re: Field Post

That's so neat that she encouraged her students to converse via email rather than Facebook. And it's interesting that you point out how she commended the students who were off the grid because I have heard that employers do look to see if you have a Facebook and if you don't have one, they question what is wrong with you. 

MGuerrero's picture

Response to History

I found this very interesting, it seems like now-a-days people are more likely to assume that we all have smart phones, more than facebook. It's also interesting to note that she mentioned that, by not having a facebook you can stay off the radar from jobs who can search information on you. What about the jobs that force their employees to have facebooks or social media as a means to communicate? I wonder what she would say about this course, since we all had to create a facebook account for it. And then write an autobiography.