Thursday, June 03, 2010

Students get engaged creating "Facebook" profiles

Educator/blogger Steve Anderson shares today how Tech teacher Suzanne Whitlow made a simple template to creatively engage students in creating Facebook profiles for a Civil War project where students were assigned to create a Facebook-like profile for Civil War generals. "Who would General Sherman’s friends be on a social network?"

She shares her Word and Pages templates for this project on her blog post.

Anderson shared this idea with a teacher at his school to use as an end of year reflection:  "I peaked in while the kids were working. I nearly came unglued. What I was seeing was amazing! The kids were so excited. They were rapidly making color changes, adding text, and inserting pictures. They were talking to each other about the best and worst parts of the year...".

The power of Twitter makes something like this go viral as teachers across the country think of creative ways to use the template. Be sure to read comments to Whitlow's post:
"I can’t tell you how perfect this is! I was thinking of having my seventh graders create a Facebook-style page for the main characters in their lit circle books, but wasn’t sure how to go about it."
"I have done a Myspace project with my students the last few years as a culminating project on the Ancient Romans. I was thinking about doing a Facebook version this year and you just made it possible! Thank you SO much for sharing!!!"
I love this idea because it can be so easily used across the curriculum. Teachers need to know that librarians can easily support the research aspects of projects like these. Steve Anderson is another educator to add to your PLN. Follow him on Twitter where he is "changing the world, one tweet at a time".

Anderson is currently working with staff at Clemmons Middle School in Winston-Salem, NC on a Personal Learning Network project where teachers, administrators, and other school leaders are beginning to build their PLN's through the use of Social Networking tools.

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