Lessons Through Facebook

A few weeks ago, an idea came to me for demonstrating to students the persistent nature of media on social networking sites and, in turn, the need to exercise caution when sharing media on social networking sites. (By the term “media”, I am not only referring to images and videos but also to text. I want to also clarify that “social networking sites” could very easily be replaced with “the Internet” above. It’s my intention to, first, get students thinking in the context of social networking sites and then later to expand that boundary all the way back so as to include the Internet as a whole.)

The idea is quite simple, it’s to create a Facebook account, upload a variety of media to the Facebook servers and then try to pull it all down.

My first thoughts were to do this activity as a class with my grade nines and tens. Both of these classes are quite small (six students each) making it possible for everyone to be involved. If I had larger classes then I would break them up into groups and create an account for each. For this activity to work, everyone needs to upload some form of media – everyone needs to be invested.

Once everyone’s uploaded something, we then try to bring it all down – including the account itself. It might be necessary to create two accounts for each group and to upload media into both in order to highlight the difficulties in deleting media of oneself when it has been uploaded by someone else.

If you have any suggestions for this activity, please leave a comment!

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3 thoughts on “Lessons Through Facebook

  1. I really like this idea. It would also be great if after you pull everything down, if you have a printed copy of some of the account so you can show that possibility too. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

  2. How will you help your students reflect on the permanence of media and information in social networking sites? How will they then connect this experience back to their own personal Facebook accounts? Can you add a layer to the type of media you upload – as in “items that portray you in a positive light” vs those that don’t? What about adding an element of people copying the photos and uploading on their own wall? Might this be seen as a role play and each student can have their own account on which to play out a typical FB interaction – not just uploading and trying to remove, but also add the element of other FB users into the mix?

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