Twitter as a classroom, the art and ethics of shaming, and more from Fresh Powder

This week, in Journalistic News:

“Phones-On” Learning:

A college professor chronicles her experience moving her social media course’s discussion to Twitter in order to provide a more relevant and hands-on educational experience.  She included weekly live Twitter chats as a part of her syllabus, and grades students both on their participation in the weekly chat, as well as their questions and interactions being insightful and meaningful. The discussions are student-lead, hosted by different groups each week, and the rest of the class asks questions and initiates conversation based on their chosen topic.  Plus, she makes each student check in at the beginning of each discussion by tweeting either a photo of themselves or their current location, so there is no way to “skip class.”

Better Browsers Secure Jobs, Somehow:

We already all collectively hate Safari and Internet Explorer (don’t deny it); now, there’s even data to justify it! Researchers discovered that employees who use a non-default browser (like Firefox or Chrome) ended up staying at their jobs 15% longer than those who are using Safari or Internet Explorer.  I could not explain the logic behind this if I tried, so you should probably just read the article.


There’s a new startup that lets you pay per article rather than purchasing monthly subscriptions, so you can still have access to your favorite newspaper without having to pay for hundreds of articles you were never actually going to read, no matter how cool it looks to have the New York Times delivered to your front door.

More evidence that suggests you should NOT post dumb things on social media:

Yes, it should be common sense by now, but students– especially high school athletes looking for scholarships– should be extremely careful about what they are posting on their social media accounts. Universities who find content on student athletes’ Twitter of Facebook accounts that they feel does not represent their values habitually stop recruiting the athletes in questions.  Always make sure your students understand the importance of editing themselves on the World Wide Web; or, if they just can’t help themselves, at least making their accounts private.

Appropriate Shaming?:

Inherently, “shaming” someone sounds like a no good, very bad thing to do.  And typically, in the real world, it is; but, in journalism-world, it can also be a way to expose bad behavior, or hold a person of power accountable for something they have said or done that was really not ideal.  Actively using shaming as a form of journalism is a fairly tricky subject, so here’s a nifty guide to help you out.

These things also happened this week:

  • Things aren’t looking great at the University of Oklahoma right now.
  • Melenoma is (hopefully) going to get its butt kicked.
  • A sequel to the insanely popular Disney film “Frozen” was officially announced— my sincerest apologies to all parents with children.
  • Who am I kidding.  Everyone loves “Frozen.”