By Meredith Farkas | January 23, 2010
After a year off from teaching to take care of baby Reed, I’m getting back up on the horse. I’ll be teaching a class on Web 2.0 and Social Networking Software for San Jose State University’s SLIS program starting this Tuesday. As usual, I’ll be using Drupal for my online classroom (rather than Angel, which is what SLIS uses), and I’m putting the student blog posts and discussions front and center in the classroom (the blog posts are the first things you see when you visit the site). I’m a little nervous that I have nearly 3 times the number of students registered for the class that I’ve had in the past (which means 3 times more papers to grade, blog posts to read, etc.), but I’m also excited because it means that the discussions will be even richer and more interesting. I love teaching this class; I always learn as much as the students do from the experience, and it’s really rewarding to see the growth of the students over the course of the semester. Should be fun!
I made a lot of changes to the topics covered in the class in light of how much Web 2.0 technologies have changed. I’d originally wanted to teach a class on online communities, but I couldn’t find enough good readings (or a textbook) for an entire course (now that Nancy White, et al.’s new book on Digital Habitats is out, it might be easier to do). I decided instead to focus more on online community-building in the course and am spending two weeks on it. I’m also having three guest speakers who run online communities: Frances Roehm of Skokie Net, Jessamyn West of MetaFilter, and my hubby, Adam Farkas, of ODwire. I know there are a lot of other topics I could have covered (cloud computing, mobile technologies, mashups, etc.), but I’m pretty happy with this semester’s lineup and I look forward to read my students reflections and discussions on these topics.
A while back, I’d asked folks on Twitter/FriendFeed/Facebook for suggestions of good Facebook pages to use as examples in my class. I thought I’d share those in case others are interested. You can find the list here. I don’t know that they’re the best Facebook pages, but I think they will give students some interesting food for thought.
As always in my classes, people from outside the class can register in the classroom and post comments on mine and my students’ posts. So feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed and/or join the conversation!