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Fakebook and Twister- Create custom social media pages for learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Character Education, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Government, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 14-03-2011

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What it is: I don’t know if you all noticed, but I have been on a serious social media kick lately. :)  There is just SO much for students to learn from the social media sphere.  Last week (or was it the week before?) I shared that I had created a Facebook Template that could be used with students for creating a fake Facebook profile.  Since then I have come across Fakebook created by teacher, @russeltarr.  I have one word: Brilliant.  Seriously this is the BEST Fakebook tool I have seen.  It is simple to use.  Just click and type.  The profile pictures get pulled automatically based on the name that students type in.  Especially good for literary and historical characters!  The focus here really is on the learning that it enables, there are NO advertisements (unlike Myfakewall which I have deemed unusable because of all of the ads).

The other fake social networking tool I want to feature is called Twister.  This is a fake Twitter wall that students can create just by filling in a few key bits of information like a username, the real name (this is what the photo pulls from), a status update, and a date.  When students click submit, they have their very own fictional status update.  Very cool!

These tools are fantastic for the classroom because they don’t rely on actual social network sites (which are often blocked by filters), they are not limited by age to use them, and they provide a fun way for students to reflect on learning.  So neat!

How to integrate Fakebook and Twister into the classroom: These two teacher created tools are fantastic.  They produce results that look like the real deal and were obviously created by teachers who understand that the focus should be learning and not the tool (or advertisements surrounding the tool).  These fake profile/status creators are a wonderful way for students to learn about historical and literary figures in a manner that they can personally connect to. Students can create profiles or updates from the perspective of historical figures, literary characters, government, artists, composers, etc.  Students can also use these tools to help them develop characters for their own writing.

Take a page out of the Grammaropolis book and have students personify things they are learning about like parts of speech.  Students can create a profile for each part of speech.  How about creating a profile page for math functions like Number Gossip does? Students could even practice dialogue in a foreign language using either tool.

Teaching your students netiquette? Let students create two versions of a Fakebook page, one with appropriate online interaction and another that “breaks the rules” to compare/contrast.

The Twister site only lets you create one status update at a time.  This makes it really nice for memorializing famous or favorite quotes. These would be fun to print out and display on a bulletin board.

Tips: Students can save or print out their Fakebook page. To save, they will create a password and need to write down the unique URL for their page to access it at a later date.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Fakebook and Twister in your classroom!