May 24, 2011
Architecture professor delivers workshop on using Facebook in the classroom
Mick Charney, associate professor of architecture, delivered a workshop on using Facebook in the classroom at the Teaching Professor Conference in Atlanta, May 20-22. Charney's workshop was titled "Looking for Mr. Wright…and Finding Him on Facebook." The workshop demonstrated the inherent educational value in the use of a closed network assembled on Facebook.
During one of Charney's seminars, architecture students were asked to "like" a Facebook group page created by Charney for the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Then, in "friending" each other through the use of avatars specifically devised to recreate Wright's own real-life web of personal relationships, students were able to construct an impressive interconnected repository of information on one of America's most elusive and enigmatic designers. Thus, when used in a manner that leveraged the digital dexterity of today's generation of tech-savvy students, Facebook redeemed itself as something more than a mere social network. It manifested its profound power to come to terms with multifaceted problems by employing the medium's hyperlinking versatility to manage the myriad answers that complex propositions often give rise to. Participants in the workshop learned how to create similar collaborative Facebook projects for their own classes and how to translate the methods and lessons of Charney's seminar exercise into their respective disciplines.