Fake Facebook projects in the classroom
There is not doubt that most teens are familiar with a Facebook wall. They know how it works. They know the language. Face it, they know a lot more about it than most adults. According to a 2010 study by PEW, 93% of teens are online at some point in the week, and 73% of these teens use social networking sites, the majority using Facebook. Why not put this knowledge and interest to good use in the classroom.
Fake facebook projects are a great way to to do this. Probably the best reason to use a fake Facebook template is that it requires high level thinking. Students might mindlessly write posts on their personal wall, but building a fake wall requires students to research a topic and then create a wall using that information. In creating a fake wall, students do not only take the role of one character, they take on several. Students have to write from the perspective of the main character and all of the friends on the page. Before students do this, they have to seriously research the character or figure and know who all their friends are as well as enemies. They also have to write in the individual voices of each of the characters. Doing this makes the brain work hard.
Here are a few tips for students that will make creating a fake Facebook wall much easier:
1. Choose a main character. This is going to be the owner of the wall.
2. Guide students in thinking about relationships. That is what social networking is all about. In literature, research family members and friends. Depending on the figure, researching enemies will also add depth to the wall.
3. Make a plan. Think about how the conversation needs to go. Is it going to cover a week or years? This will be important, and a plan will make putting the wall together much easier.
4. If computer access is a problem, draft the wall before it is entered on the computer.
5. Make sure and follow the guidelines on the rubric.
Fakebook is a great online app. Students can easily make accounts, and the app is easy to use. There are a few bugs in the way it works, but for the most part, this is one of most fun ways to make a fake wall. One bonus is the option to print walls
- PowerPoint Template
This PowerPoint template is a little clunkier to use than Fakebook, but it is saved on the computer meaning that students are not relying on an app that is hosted on a server somewhere else in the world. It is another great option.
- Google Docs Template
If students have a Google account, this is a great template to use. It is easy to navigate, and is hosted on a reliable server meaning access is usually not a problem. Though it looks a bit funny when first opened, the finished product on this templa
- MS Word Template
The Word template doesn't look quite as good as some of the others, but it is on Word, a platform that most students are comfortable with.
English Fakebook Examples
English classes present numerous opportunities to use fake Fakebook projects as learning tools. Because English classes revolve around stories, there are always characters to portray on fake walls. Have students write a wall from the perspectives of characters within a story.
Making a fake wall for the characters in a play helps students focus on the details and relationships presented in the script. This activity can engage even the most uninterested student in a Shakespeare play.
- Utopian and Transcendentalist Ideas
Fakebook projects can also be a means for students to show understanding of concepts or ideas.
History / Social Studies Examples
The most common use of fake Facebook projects in the history classroom is to act as a historical figure. Students might also write from the perspective of a country. An even more abstract idea is to write from the perspective of a rock or tree that is looking out over the western plains, or maybe a tree in the Brazilian rainforest.
The science classroom provides excellent opportunities to use fake Fakebook pages as an engaging learning tool.
Quality thinking is not produced in student work by a rubric with 15 or 20 guidelines for students to follow. This rubric is simple with three key points for students to be aware of as they are working on the project. Before starting the project, make sure students are aware of the basic requirements. This should mainly be a number of posts and replies on the wall. Other than that, let students have free reigns on the project.
- Fake Facebook Rubric
This simple rubric will give students the freedom to think.