The Learning 2.0 School

Shifting Perceptions of Teaching and Learning in and out of the School Library

“25 Random Things” and Learning 2.0

Posted by Michelle Torrise on February 8, 2009

Have you heard about the new social networking phenomenon, “25 Random Things”?  It’s a next generation chain letter, or Chain Letter 2.0, that is spreading like crazy on Facebook Notes application.  Inside Facebook reports that posts on Facebook Notes have increased 100% in a week’s time. It has become so popular that Google returned  1,240,000, hits for a search on “25 Random Things.”

So what does “25 Random Things” have to do with Web 2.0 learning?

Think about the potential for this type of social response activity in the classroom, i.e., an assignment that requires students to post (online) 25 random things (or 10, or 5) about a topic they are studying and then forward that response to another student who in turn has to respond and forward.   The possibilities are many, for example ask students to post “25 Random Things” about:

  • President Obama: “First 100 days in office.”
  • President Lincoln and President Obama: “How are the same or different.”
  • Space Travel: “How might it change life on earth?”

Asking students to post 25 random things about a topic would require them to organize, synthesize, self-assess, and communicate.   The learning continues when they start to read, compare, and ponder the responses of other students.   Just think about how much time is put into constructing a response for “25 Random Things.”   According to Time Entertainment columnist Claire Suddath, over 125 million random facts have appeared on Facebook in the last week, and she calculates this (at about 10 minutes per post) as having consumed over 800,000 hours of work time productivity.  Can you imagine if we could channel that much time into productive learning?

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