Studying History Via Facebook [2011 - 2012]

Eighth grade students researched an eclectic group of personalities via Facebook pages. They were tasked to use this social networking tool to read/study their assigned personalities, and then produce Word documents based on their findings. Not only did they immerse themselves in the study of History via their respective Facebook pages, but also became more aware of the various individuals and their activities in terms of enhanced Cultural literacy.

Cultural literacy is familiarity with and ability to understand the idioms, allusions, and informal content that create and constitute a dominant culture. From being familiar with street signs to knowing historical references to understanding the most recent slang, literacy demands interaction with the culture and reflection of it. Knowledge of a canonical set of literature is not sufficient in and of itself when engaging with others in a society, as life is interwoven with art, expression, history, and experience. Cultural literacy requires familiarity with a broad range of general knowledge and implies the use of that knowledge in the creation of a communal language and collective knowledge. Cultural literacy stresses the knowledge of those pieces of information that content creators will assume the audience already possesses [].

Facebook as an educational tool

Facebook is an excellent site to study famous people in History. The past [events/activities/deeds] is more "immediate" because of recent to very recent postings/comments on its pages. On certain pages, anyone can post his/her feelings about the famous person and/or what this person did, perhaps 10s to 100s of years ago, but because of the contemporary comments [postings], the person and activities/deeds become more relevant/personal for everyone viewing/reading the page ... History "comes alive", and an excitation factor is created to want to study and enjoy History in a "social networking sense". For example, Brandon Aleman's [one of the 8th grade students] assigned personality was Carlos Fuentes. During his [student] research and reporting of findings, Fuentes passed away. This was a shock, because postings of Fuentes' death were immediately seen on his Facebook page. History literally changed in front of the student due to the immediacy of this social networking tool. Textbooks can never deliver this kind of stimulus. He [student] will remember Carlos Fuentes, indefinitely.

Click on names below to open a selection of their reports in PDF format [editing of other reports in progress] [Images downloaded strictly for educational purposes.].

Brandon Aleman Xavier Barreda Maria Guzman Juliana Jurado Eduardo Lira
Francisca Lopez Ramon Meza Brian Navarro Nairyly Nieves Ulises Pena
Martin Resendiz Areli Salazar Ariel Salazar Jasmin Silvas Ariadna Suazo
Kristel Torres Amanda Villatoro