What Facebook Teaches

Or, more on being welcome at the party.

Today’s Inside Higher Education tells the story of students at Syracuse University being formally disciplined for their postings on Facebook. While you can judge for yourself whether or not free speech is being abridged in Upstate New York, it’s clear that events like this (and similar events, e.g., stories of students losing out on RA positions because their Facebook profiles suggested that they might not be the best candidates): (1) are providing students with real-life context for broadly-conceived information literacy instruction within the context of what was once-referred to as “computer-mediated communication”; and (2) might explain why students are leery of any university organization (even one as student-friendly as the library) trying to communicate with them through FaceBook (“their” space).

Two things I learned while visiting my campus Facebook: (1) there are several Facebook groups dedicated to the library (but none in an academic way);and (2) our Office of Residence Life advertises for RA candidates on Facebook (which should clue people in to the fact that they might be viewing profiles of applicants, but . . .).

Were I teaching my FYE seminar on Internet Studies again this semester, you can bet this would be a discussion topic.

One thought on “What Facebook Teaches”

  1. well that is just wrong it invades the right of free speech they have not right cause they may just be having fun

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