What to Leave Out?

Creative Commons licensed content from http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredcavazza/2564571564

Creative Commons licensed content from http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredcavazza/2564571564

I teach a class on using social media in professional contexts, particularly in the classroom.

With a 15-week semester, I have to neglect some tools. Right now, here’s the list that we DO cover in hands-on projects:

  • Twitter / microblogging
  • Pinterest
  • Prezi
  • blogs
  • Google Drive (forms & presentations)
  • online portfolios / resumes like LinkedIn
  • wikis

Students end up needing to tweet, blog, and pin and to complete at least one additional Web 2.0 task for the week. They learn about several additional tools but don’t have to use them for credit. It’s a lot of small assignments that hopefully add up to some level of confidence / expertise by the end of the term.

I thought about adding infographics this semester, but I couldn’t figure out what to push off the syllabus to make room, both in my students’ schedules and my capacity for grading (the course already has over 100 discrete small assignments per student, and then there’s the 8-10 major projects…multiply that by 40 students this spring and add in the fact that I teach other classes and you get the idea).

I haven’t required podcasting or other audio due to technology access. It’s one thing to type up a blog in the campus computing lab; it’s quite another to make sure the computer has a working microphone and then proceed to talk for a few minutes. Not all students have phones capable of voice technology, either, and VoiceThread just isn’t the same with text comments.

Am I shortchanging future teachers by NOT requiring audio options?

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