Post # 1
So, I am a college professor (a young, soon-to-be married professor, but a professor nonetheless). I know there are a lot of bees still in college – can you help me out? WHY DO YOU FACEBOOK IN CLASS?
I teach in a large-ish lecture (250 students) and I walk around while I teach (yep. I trudge up and down the stairs of the auditorium while I teach.) As I walk, I occasionally see students quickly minimizing their FB pages.
Now, it was not so long ago when I was in college, but we did not have laptops (10-14 years ago, we all had desktop PC’s). Yeah, occasionally I spaced out, but can’t imaging having a FB chat while in class – seriously?? I mean, what is the point of coming to class? At that point, you aren’t paying attention, so why take up space?
So, since you are all anonymous to me, please tell me, what is the rationale of trudging through the freezing rain to come to class only to ignore the prof and play on the ‘net?
**I realize this is a bit of a rant – I just finished subbing for another teaching, and this class is much worse with the FB usage – I seriously stopped and stared at student for 45 seconds – class was silent- until he figured out that maybe, just maybe, he should start paying attention. Argh!
Post # 3
I’ve been on both sides of this, actually! I taught as a grad student and adjunct recently, and this was a big issue. When I was in college no one used computers in classes (graduated in 2006 from small liberal arts school, largest class was 25 or so). Now I’m in (another) grad program and my classmates facebook all the time in class. I have to admit that I would if I were in their place too, except I don’t have a laptop! We’re professionals and some of them use the time to catch up on work or emails. I think the main reason is that the class feels irrelevant to us and not useful. I don’t ever remember being so bored in an undergraduate class as I have been in these classes for my Masters in Education. Also I think it’s kind of an egotistical thing to do. It says that you know more or that your time is more valuable than that of the professor. That certainly wasn’t true when I was an undergrad, but in this grad program the classes are a joke!
Post # 4
We must be the same age, since I was also in college 10-15 years ago. I see FBing in class the same as doodling or passing notes.. you get distracted anyway, you look for something to fill your brain time. I doubt ‘kids these days’ are Facebooking as a way to completely tune you out!
Post # 5
I am constantly on fb in class. I’m in law school, and class is just incredibly boring. I honestly wouldn’t go to class, but there’s a mandatory attendance policy in law school. I still take notes and things, but profs tend to repeat themselves unnecessarily or people ask dumb questions in class that I don’t want to listen to, so I’ll write down what I need to know and then play on the interwebs.
Post # 6
I do on very rare occasions (or if the class is really, really boring). Mostly, I pay attention though.
Post # 7
Well, I will admit that the classes I FB in I have aced. First of all at my university attendance counts. So, kids come to class just to get the points for being there. I also don’t bring my laptop to classes I know I need to pay attention in. period. But for my Western Civ class, which I have a 120% in, I FB all class long. This also goes for my lit class (also have a 100% in) as well as my art history class (96%). For me if I have to be there, I’m at least going to enjoy myself. I’d rather be FB-ing and make the time pass quicker.
Post # 8
I just graduated, but I would get on Facebook during once class in particular, constitutional law. The subject was actually supposed to be interesting, but all the prof wanted to talk about was the law in regard to marijuana. Seriously, we had discussions on how you should hide it in your shoe because cops have to have a higher level of evidence of drug use to do a body search.
Since I don’t use drugs, hardly anything in that class was useful or even interesting to me, and it kind of pissed me off that I had to sit through lectures on how to get by with using pot or drinking and driving.
Typically, that was the only class I got on the internet during. It happened when classes got really boring or I would get on my e-mail on days when we produced the newspaper so I could stay connected to the staff.
Post # 9
@Rock Hugger: I feel your frustration. Currently I am adjunct teaching, and while FB isn’t so much of an issue for me (as the students don’t have wireless internet at the college I’m currently at), other places I’ve taught it’s been an issue. My take on it is, you know what, they are adults, if that’s how they want to spend their time and money~fine, so long as they aren’t distracting other students~ultimately that type of behavior out in the ‘real world’ is going to be a downfall for them.
Post # 10
I use to be on fb all the time in class. Mainly because I was so bored, and had to be at class because of attendance policies. Also most of the classes I used fb the most in had really annoying students who would ask the stupidest questions and make the entire class derail from the main subject. If I had the choice of not going to those classes I would have gladly stayed home. I have always been an honors student, and I would always do my out of class work and generally most of my classes just went over what you were suppose to do on your own, so sitting there listening to the same thing over and over does not keep my attention at all. I now just take a few online classes every now and then, to avoid all of that.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone – I appreciate your candidness! So, the key here is to keep class interesting…hmmm…maybe I should start a song and dance in class 🙂 I can sing the geologic time scale to them … hehe!
Post # 12
Honestly, I don’t think there is anything you can do to stop it. In undergrad we didn’t have wifi in the buildings so no one really brought their laptops to class, but when I was in law school (I graduated in 08) we did have wifi and basically every single person used a laptop in class.
And you would have hated me… sorry but I’m being honest. I wasn’t so much about facebook but I was on gchat and aim in every single class of law school. For me it was because I honestly COULD. I could listen and be online at the same time. If I couldn’t be online I’d find myself totally zoning out and incapable of hearing anything the professor was saying, but if i was online it was like I was trying so hard to LOOK like I was paying attention that I actually was. And like Boston Bee said– the mandatory attendance policy didn’t help. But really if I could go through, get good grades, get a degree, and get a great job— while being online for basically every class of my law school career, why not? Better to be somewhat entertained than bored to death and crabby about it every day.
I think the thing is to just not take it as a reflection of YOU. They aren’t doing it because you are boring, they’re doing it because that is what they do and because school, in general, is pretty boring.
Post # 13
So, I started using a mic in class and walking up and down the auditorium stairs while I talked, which is definitely helping – I can now make eye contact with the students in the back of the class. As I am walking around, I only see a few FB pages, but most students quickly minimize when I walk by. If they don’t, I usually insert “FB” into what I am saying (such as “Or, you could also ID granite by asking your friends on FB.” I think it is helping.
I realize the FB-ing is not really a reflection of me, but in talking with undergrads, I know that if your neighbor is FB-ing, you are more likely to be distracted. I will win this battle!
Post # 14
Every now and again I played around on FB while in class. I never brought a laptop to class (99.9% of the students used notebook and pen) When I had a class where we used computers, I would go on FB if I was bored. I usually worked ahead, so if I had time to spare, I would chat with friends. During my newspaper design and writing classes, the prof never cared what we did during class (it was always a work period) as long as we turned in good projects. I figured I always got As (and a few times A+++…figure that one out), so playing on FB wasn’t hurting me.
Post # 15
In undergrad I got bored in a lot of classes, especially gen eds that weren’t of interest to me.
Top reasons I zone out in class (even now in my masters):
-Professor reads the slides to me, with no additional info
-Professor adds very little in addition to the slides, then posts the slides online
-Professor tests on the book only, so lecture ends up being irrelevant (now, if it’s important info to me, I will keep paying attention, but music theory isn’t relevant to my education for example)
-Discussion/lecture goes off topic and/or students make fools of themselves for not reading the material and asking long and dumb questions
-Professor is boring: monotone, quiet, the kind that teaches only to tell their stories/hear their own voice
Post # 16
I graduated from undergrad in 2008 and I’m getting a Masters now. I would never ever bring a computer to class, let alone go on Facebook or even my email. I don’t want other people seeing my private stuff.