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Faculty on facebook

Six members of faculty and staff fil­tered into the PC Lab in the ARC (Aca­demic Resource Center) at the beginning of lunch. Taking seats at the computers, they logged into Facebook before await­ing further instruction from their teachers: two students from the Class of 2012.

Facebook has become an icon of popular culture, and its widespread use among Marlborough students has grabbed the attention and cu­riosity of faculty and employees. In response, Kathryn ’12 and Kira’12 led a Facebook literacy class for faculty members on Oct. 18 and Nov. 4 during lunch. Together, they introduced the basics of the site, ultimately explaining to faculty why our generation has found it so im­portant to have a Facebook account for social networking as well as basic communication. Kira and Kathryn ex­plained how users can change secu­rity settings, send messages and tag images, and even gave a tour of the new timeline feature.

Director of Academic and Ad­ministrative Technology Stuart Po­sin proposed the idea this year af­ter learning that other independent schools, such as Harvard-Westlake, have held Facebook classes for fac­ulty. Posin said that he decided a class at Marlborough would be a good opportunity for a student-led discussion.

“The School strives to give all of the girls leadership opportunities, and this is one small example,” Posin said. “I have wanted to do something like this for a long time. I hope we will do more of it.”

Facebook is prominent on campus, especially now that girls are allowed to use mobile devices for non-voice ac­tivities when not in class. It is common to see girls in the ARC sitting with Face­book open on their computers while they work on homework, even if they are not necessarily engaged in the site, ac­cording to Associate Director of Admin­istrative Technology Ida Dahan.

“Every time I log into my com­puter, I sign in to Facebook,” Dina ’12 said. “I had to buy software to block it for the times I need to study. I think it would be great for teachers to learn how we use Facebook because it’s like my e-mail. Nowadays, students aren’t just on the site for fun.”

While there was a small turn-out in the first session, the lunch period on Nov. 4 attracted a larger group; in the end, a total of ten faculty and staff attend­ed at least one of the sessions, includ­ing Librarian Nichole Gomez and other ARC-based technology employees. “It was fun,” Dahan said. “Kathryn and Kira were great, and they covered a ton of topics.”

Kira and Kathryn said they found that the biggest topic faculty mem­bers wished to discuss concerned profile security.

“We discussed how to change privacy settings and tagging, for those of us who are paranoid,” Dahan said. “On that topic there were a ton of questions.”

While most of the teachers said they attended the class to learn more about Facebook, history instructor Tom Millar said he was most excited to encourage student-led activities.

“One of the reasons I went to the class was to support the idea of stu­dents teaching teachers,” Millar said.