Tag Archives: Facebook

April 27, 2011, 6:37 am

Four lessons from my Lenten social media fast

Free twitter badge

Image via Wikipedia

This past Sunday was Easter, of course. Easter marks the endpoint of Lent, and therefore it was the end of my 40-day fast from Facebook and Twitter. I do admit that I broke cover once to announce my upcoming job change, and will also admit that I lurked a lot on both services during the last 10 days or so, reading but not commenting. Otherwise, though, I did manage to stay off both Facebook and Twitter for the duration (auto-posted tweets didn’t count).

I’ll have to say my first real tweet after breaking the fast felt awkward — like I’d been out in the wilderness for 40 days and had stepped back into a once-familiar place with people who had never left. I’m gradually getting back into the swing of it, but I also feel like I have a much different perspective on my social media involvement after…

Read More

March 8, 2011, 10:50 pm

Why I am giving up Twitter and Facebook for Lent

I don’t often write on CO9′s about my faith, so I hope you’ll indulge me for a bit. Since this is also a post about technology, I figured it fits. This has to do with Lent.

In the Christian church year, Lent is a season in which believers participate in acts of personal sacrifice to help us prepare for Holy Week. Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter, which is on April 24 this year. I haven’t always given something up for Lent, but this year I’ve decided that I am giving up Twitter and Facebook.

It may seem silly to use abstinence from social media to commemorate the sufferings of Christ, but there’s a serious twofold purpose to my choice.

First, in giving up Twitter and Facebook, I am seeking to recover time that I am spending in 15–30 second increments and re-invest it elsewhere. If you took all the little bursts of time I spend checking Facebook and Twitter in…

Read More

December 13, 2010, 5:13 pm

Student failure and student humanity

A mathematics lecture, apparently about linear...

Image via Wikipedia

Alice Fenton (a pseudonym) set off a minor firestorm recently with this post to the Chronicle of Higher Education website, titled “The Pleasure of Seeing the Deserving Fail”. The title explains the content; the article is about different kinds of students who bring failure upon themselves in some way or another, and the pleasure the instructor can take in failing them.

Today, “Alice” has published a sequel, called “How to Inspire a Backlash”, to serve as a counterpoint to the negative reactions to her first article. At the close, she says:

Anger, dislike, weariness, schadenfreude: Those are all, for me, parts of human experience. That does not mean those emotions rule people, but it does mean they are there sometimes. Acknowledging those feelings may improve the chances that they won’t affect how …

Read More

January 25, 2009, 3:19 pm

The iPod touch: Keeping new parents sane since 2009

With Harrison’s arrival on the 15th, I have had neither the time nor the raw material for blogging about math, education, or technology. Instead I’ve been mostly figuring out how to decrypt my new son’s little coded messages and trying to sleep when I can. But there is one tech item from my experience of the last week that I would like especially to highlight: the ongoing awesomeness of the iPod touch.

Originally I wanted an iPod touch to replace my aging third-generation Photo iPod. I figured the main purpose of an iPod is music playback, and having internet and video capability would be sort of nice too. But now I see that the iPod touch is a lot more than a music player: It’s a passport to new-parent sanity. Consider the following ways the iPod touch has been of use lately:

- I used the iPod touch to provide real-time updates of my wife’s delivery — well, at least right up to the …

Read More

May 9, 2008, 7:56 am

Identity theft on Facebook?

I’m a little surprised you don’t hear about this sort of thing happening more often: 

A Roncalli High School administrator is asking a judge to force the Internet site Facebook to identify the pranksters who hijacked his identity for a phony Webpage.

Tim Puntarelli, Roncalli [High School]‘s dean of students, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese is suing Facebook and the anonymous creators of the false Webpage the suit claims contained false, embarrassing, and defaming information about Puntarelli and Roncalli High School.

The page creators used the Facebook page to pose as Puntarelli and send emails to Roncalli students, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Facebook officials removed the page when they were notified of the site on April 18, but refused to disclose the identity of the creators without a court order, according to the lawsuit.

Puntarelli and…

Read More

March 15, 2008, 8:10 pm

Where are the 95 Theses posted?

Looks like everybody has a Facebook page these days (click to enlarge):

ml-facebook.jpg

The “Poke Him!” option is particularly amusing. Haven’t you always wanted to poke Martin Luther? Speaking as a fledgling Lutheran myself, it’s nice to see old Martin — whose use of technology to propagate information under a repressive authoritarian regime ought to inspire Web 2.0 types everywhere — take up residence at his new Wittenberg Door.

Seriously, one person writes on Luther’s “wall” that making up these fake Facebook pages would be a pretty good way to teach historical biography.

[h/t Cyberbrethren: A Lutheran Blog]

March 1, 2008, 8:54 pm

Twitter in the classroom

The Wired Campus is running a series of articles on using Twitter, the popular micro-blogging platform, as a classroom tool. Here’s the first article (interesting stuff in the comments there), and here’s a followup with a short video from a Twittering professor. And here’s a more lengthy article from Chronicle.com.

Twitter does appear to provide good backchannel discussion opportunities for those who are motivated to use it productively, and as a corollary there are some interesting out-of-classroom student interaction possibilities there. But my experience with any form of online communication is that students like it if they are pushing the information to people of their choosing (such as IM) but not if class stuff is being pushed to them (such as Twitter or even regular email). Control of information is a really big issue with students, and it profoundly creeps them out sometimes…

Read More

September 29, 2007, 9:56 am

What's the best electronic medium for professor/student interaction?

The comments at my last post are suggesting that email has been surpassed by IM, Facebook, and text messaging among the younger generation as the preferred means of electronic communication. (Maybe of any kind of communication.) That really gives me, as a professor, some pause as to my assumption that if I need to get information out to students in a timely way (say, about a change in an assignment or a last-minute announcement for class) or create a space for out-of-classroom discussion of ideas or assignments, email isn’t nearly as reliable as I think it is.

I’m OK with that if it’s true, but then there are two questions that come to mind as being pretty important from my perspective:

  • If I have information that I need to get out to my students quickly and be reasonably assured that they’ll get it in time for it to be useful, what is the best way to do this? Is there no one best way,…

Read More