“Facebook as a Functional Tool & Critical Resource”
Watch for my latest article about teaching with Facebook in R. Trebor Scholz’s newest collection entitled “Learning through Digital Media: Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy.”
Despite much controversy, I have taken up Facebook as a digital tool in my large lecture halls for a variety of reasons using a number of pedagogical approaches. I challenge myself to consider the social media world from the point of view of today’s students. The aims of this short essay are to identify my motivations for using Facebook, describe methods and practices of this classroom use as a functional tool and critical resource, then to discuss current pedagogical challenges.
As a faculty of media, it is important to teach both about and through digital tools. Teaching about Facebook includes contextual information about its social, cultural, and historical dimensions; teaching through Facebook includes the praxis of using this tool (along with or in conjunction with others) to both process and distribute information. Kirsten Drotner (2008) reframes this discourse about digital media pedagogy by asking whether digital or multimodal literacy should be “defined as a functional tool or as a critical resource?” (182). Simply put, my answer is both.