Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What to Do When Snow Closes the College?

One faculty member's solution is Facebook.

Facebook class

Campus Overload - When snow hit, one American U class moved to Facebook:

That's when I remembered our class Facebook page. I posted an update on the page and told the students I would only cancel if the university canceled. That way I did not have to reply to every single panicky request.

So how did it work?

At 4 p.m. I alerted students that I would post a "creative challenge" at 5 p.m. I also sent e-mail alerts and posted an announcement on the traditional teaching site.

Their assignment: Students would use the cultural assignments that were due for that night's class to re-design a brochure for a digital storytelling summer camp for teens to better appeal to diverse ethnic communities. I had planned to do this in class, with students working in groups.

Then I realized I didn't know how to upload the brochure they needed for the assignment.

I clicked every which way I could think of. Right. Left. Center. Drag. Scroll. Then I remembered "visual" - photo - jpg. How to convert pdf to jpg. Digital speak. Google it.

It worked.

At 5 p.m., I posted the "Creative Challenge." To keep the spirit light, I switched it from a "must do" assignment to a "try to" effort.

"Class" began as scheduled at 5:30. Students were online. They were posting. They were into the assignment.

I was giving feedback, posting my comments. No, wait. I wasn't posting comments. I was writing them, but no one could see them. Then, I accidentally hit the "return" key. My posts were up and I was back in business.

A good idea? She thinks so -

So the next time it snows, I won't be ice fishing; I'll be Facebook fishing.

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