|Colleges are using it to connect with students, and teachers use it for posting class notes (The Hindu)|
When Jaya Krishnan, a lecturer, observed most of his students were more active on Facebook than in the classroom, he knew it was time to innovate. A young faculty member with the Mass Communications department of St. Francis College for Women, he felt he could reach out better to his students over social media and started posting notes on Facebook.
After all, how did it matter where students got their notes from, they received their share of gyan at the end of the day. Soon, lessons on writing a radio script, storyboards, television production, grammar of TV, sample scripts etc. began making appearance on his Facebook profile. Classroom notes apart, Mr. Krishnan also shares editorials on a range of topics and on one occasion a personal message as well: a farewell piece written by his colleague Pranay Rupani to the outgoing batch of third-year students.
The era of digital classrooms has truly arrived.
"Earlier it posed serious challenges to me. Students did not interact with each other in my class though they have been attending my class for the last one year," he says. "It used to take at least one week to ensure that the printed notes reached everyone. They used to complain or give it as an excuse and I could not verify their claims. Now they cannot complain anymore as FB connects them all."
Students are not complaining. They now have their class notes at their doorsteps (computer/mobile screens rather), and some assignments could be submitted online. A tech-savvy teacher is only making their job easier.
"We are always on Facebook, and we can access our notes anywhere from our mobiles," says Siddanti Sudhan, a second year student. At a time when most students, engineering included, rely on their seniors for notes, and tips on scoring in exams, Facebook has made life easier. "Facebook now being one of the fastest modes to communicate with many people at the same time, notes are being shared by the whole class," says Arun Reddy, student of Indu College of Engineering.
In fact, the Facebook pages of students and Facebook profiles of various colleges are bustling with activity. A glance at them reveals that it is not just the notes that teachers share with students or students with their parents but the colleges are also using it as a medium to connect with the students. All major announcements of the colleges are updated religiously on Facebook.
Some students in engineering colleges are so well connected that even their classroom activity is shared.
If an interesting class is on it's updated for those in the canteen or playground. Mr. Krishnan best puts it: "In this technological determinism era, faculty are slowly becoming facilitators or a human interface between students and Internet. It is better they accept this new role and change according to the taste of these times or else they will wither away."YOGENDRA KALAVALAPALLI