Is Facebook a distraction in the classroom?

As a professor, especially in a large lecture class, you never know what your students are really doing on their laptops. How many are listening to the lecture and how many are chatting with friends on Facebook? This circumstance has led some professors to ban Facebook altogether from their classrooms. But I have found Facebook to be an engagement tool in my online classes. Read a recent interview with me in the Commonwealth Times on how I make Facebook work for my classes.

The following is an excerpt from the article “Social Studies: Does Facebook distract students?” in the Commonwealth Times:

“When I taught my lecture class with 200 students in the classroom, I found Facebook to be distracting students,” Messner said. “I’m sure they’re on Facebook all the time.”

Since he moved his large lecture class to an entirely online format, Messner said that the usage of Facebook has been a positive force in his courses.

“Social media has not been a distraction, but rather enhanced the engagement of the students,” Messner said. “It has not been a big problem for me, but then again I’m teaching in communications.”

Continue reading here.

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