Farmville goes to school

I was sitting at a bench near a principal’s office in a school. 4 young boys about 10 years of age were sitting next to me, preparing for their exams.

One turns to the other and asks, “what happened to your plants?”, the other retorts, “5 or 6 of them withered and the rest I harvested” and I’m left dumb struck that the children of this age could be so “into” plants and stuff! Another boy joins the group and continues the conversation, “I’d a golden box ask for some code to enter, what should I do?”, one of the previous guys go, “go to, sign in and say connect to Facebook, simple” and I sigh!!!

For these kids, this is not “alternate reality” or “online stuff”, it is their mainstay, it is their reality, it’s what they talk about everyday and do everyday for hours.

I ventured into a discussion with them, I asked them what they do on Facebook, so they go, “chat”, “post messages”, “play games” etc. (the usual stuff), then I asked them if they use the Facebook groups a lot, “it exists, but we don’t use it much”. I asked them if their teachers are on Facebook, “some of them are, but we don’t friend them, that is dangerous!” and the discussion turned to me, “are you on Facebook?” so I said, “I’m into a lot of social networking, blogging and tweeting etc.”, they said, “really?” (all smiles!) and we were all friends instantly.

I think its time for teachers in India to start using these forums to engage the students instead of just keeping at the traditional books, copy, assignments, tests and projects mode. As I go through more of the teacher training sessions I’ll discuss about these concepts more and see how we can incorporate these into our education system.


2 Responses to “Farmville goes to school”

  1. 1 Anoop March 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Nice Blog..
    I agree that teachers should engage students using these Social networks and forums. It would develop students personality skills at a very young age, also it is important that teachers themselves know what type of forums to engage students into,the concept would be a great success if its only educative and subject related / sport related etc, one should not turn a blind eye to the adverse information available on forums in Social networking sites,those can be really distracting for young kids & can corrupt young minds, I believe it should be monitored by teachers at school & parents at home.. What do you think?

    • 2 sree March 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks Anoop. Yes, there is a lot of power to harness from social networking forums in education but it also implies teachers need to get on top of things and know what kind of responsibility to instill in students. Of course, just preaching responsibility is not enough, make the usage for educational purposes fun enough so that it catches the imagination of the students and the time with SNS is well spent.

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