No more paper for Purchase
When Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes developed Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, they probably did not dream of it one day being used as a learning tool in classrooms.
But Tracy Purchase, local technician specialist instructor, is doing just that, choosing to move all of his course materials online.
“It gets the students more interactive and they’re actually doing their homework more,” Purchase said. “That’s what they’re picking up, that there’s something on ANGEL without actually having to go there.”
According to Purchase, NIACC uses the ANGEL Learning Management System for its online curriculum.
Purchase said he supplements ANGEL with Facebook, Wikispaces and MeadMap.
“To get them to check their NIACC e-mail and ANGEL is difficult,” Purchase said. “I post messages to my students about quizzes that are turned on and assignments that they have in ANGEL.”
Instead of using the Notes or Groups application, Purchase keeps it simple by using his Wall. The Wall is the Facebook version of leaving notes on a refrigerator; members comment back and forth and Facebook retains all of these messages on a member’s Wall.
“I post notes on my Wall,” Purchase said. “Those that want to participate become friends on my site, which is secure and then I post messages according to which class I want to talk to.”
According to Purchase, his privacy settings are set so only his friends can see his full profile, especially the Wall.
Everyone else sees only his network and a button to request to become friends.
Purchase said he started to use Facebook as an in-class tool at the beginning of this semester due to a presentation at a CIT conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, back in October.
Purchase said he does not intend to use Facebook to connect to his relatives, explaining, “That is what cell phones are for.”
“So, between Facebook, Wikispaces, ANGEL and MeadMap, I’ve got a lot of interaction going on using technology,” Purchase said. “I did a presentation on a lot of this to the faculty during our staff development week too.”
Purchase has a Wikispace for each class he has, stating only the students in the class have access to the respective Wikis.
“You can do Wikis in ANGEL, but getting them into ANGEL is hard enough, so I’m using outside sources,” Purchase said.
Purchase makes it “worth their while” by including in the syllabus that, if a student participates in his Wikispace, he or she will receive 100 bonus points toward his or her grade.
MeadMap works in a way similar to Wikispaces, but instead of being a forum to discuss topics, it functions as a collective online notebook, like a “central repository,” according to Purchase.
Both Purchase and his students can go in and add what they think is relevant.
Through programs like ANGEL, Facebook, Wikispaces and MeadMap, Purchase no longer sees the need to have handouts in class.
“I don’t do any quizzes in class, I do it all online, and they’re meeting the deadlines,” Purchase said. “Most of them, anyway.”