I recently read an article called “30+ Ways To Use Foursquare in Education”, and I was amazed that this article even existed. I am an admitted foursquare user and have often told people that it is an application that I did not really find to have any educational benefits but was really just fun. I have never sat down and really critically thought about foursquare in the classroom, since I guarantee that I am the ONLY one in my school using the application (which I am both principal AND mayor according to my foursquare check-ins). When I saw this article, I was actually quite shocked.
Although this seems to be an article written for a post secondary level, I am becoming more critical of these “ways to use” articles in the classroom, looking for the deep thinking that could happen in the classroom. Here is one of the ideas that I am curious about:
4. Let your students find you: Be available to your students outside of the classroom or off campus by sharing your check-in status.
Okay, the have found me. Now what? Is this turning our students into critical thinkers by knowing where I am. I definitely believe in sharing aspects of your life with students to show that you are a real person, but when are we sharing too much?
Here is another one that I am not sure of:
20. Give bonus points: Transfer Foursquare points into bonus points for tests and quizzes relating to those specific locations.
This is just bad assessment as a student could fail a test but pass because they checked into the post office ten times that week? This actually makes educational practice WORSE in my opinion and I would be disappointed if this was a basis for marks in a class at my school.
There definitely are some interesting ones that could be beneficial in the classroom:
1. Bring students from different classes together: Encourage students from different class periods to follow each other for more camaraderie, to enhance discussion, and create a bigger network.
I love this idea! The more we can connect and learn from each other, the better.
In essence, what we really need to do is ensure that we are looking at these types of articles and critically thinking about how they will improve learning in the classroom. We also need to know where we are getting our information from. This site seems to be a “Search Engine Optimizer” (SEO) that is looking for more traffic to head to the site; it’s focus is on making money, not furthering education. It is important that we do not bring technology in for technology’s sake and critically think about where we are getting our information from. This is essential if we want to improve the learning process for our students.