I love Facebook, because it gives me yet another means of communicating with family and friends while using the printed word. I don’t think I can honestly call myself a Luddite anymore.
I frequently get sucked into taking some of the quizzes, not because I am in desperate need of their wisdom and fortune-telling, but because… uh, I can’t think of any good reason; guess I do need their wisdom and fortune-telling. But I could have told you my third Chakra was the strongest, and that I was “zeer Dutch”. I probably couldn’t have said I was most like J.D. Salinger in the “Which Crazy Writer Are You” quiz, but I’m rather pleased to be so. (My youngest sister got Stephen King; she is not pleased.)
Some of the quizzes are just a bit too much for my taste; not just the subject matter, but also the questions. How in the world could my taste in soft drinks relate to which Twilight vampire I most resemble? This brings me back to my latest thoughts on Critical Thinking; bear with me…
In Grade 10, all the students in Ontario have to take a literacy test, which tests their Critical Thinking rather heavily. However, Critical Thinking is not overtly taught at any point in the previous 9 years (although, there are teachers who work it into their curriculum, so there are some students who have at least a working knowledge of Critical Thinking, if not a fair ability). Therefore, Grade 8 should include a mandatory Critical Thinking class, which centres around such things as Facebook quizzes. Understanding the age requirement for Facebook to be 13 years, and understanding said age requirement to be stoutly ignored by more than half of the class, a Grade 8 teacher would be teaching a) Critical Thinking, b) whole language and c) writing skills. I can only think of one of my students – Walaikum – who wouldn’t be amused by such an activity, and he really, really doesn’t need anymore help in Critical Thinking.
Facebook quizzes are a much more useful writing exercise for the average high-school student than, say, a 10-page essay on Hamlet’s godforsaken state of sanity. I say, all English teachers should put me out of business by using Facebook rather than Shakespeare. Barring that, I’ll entertain all my summer students.