Forced Fast

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The experiment at Harrisburg University wherein access to social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were blocked for a week proved to be assignificant publicity push for the university.  Forcing students to listen to lectures, take notes, and speak to classmates (unless they chose to use mobile devices that are not dependent on the University’s network) may have been useful instruction for the students.

From the comments in the numerous national and international news stories that have appeared over the past week, many of the students seemed surprised that they understood lectures more clearly when their weren’t multi-tasking. (Is IMing your friend two seats away really “multi-tasking” or just not paying attention?)

Now that Harrisburg University has reopened the social networking pipe, students will head to class to tomorrow with the ability to return to old habits.  Hopefully some with rethink their behaviors and realize that they (or their parents) are paying good money to be lectured to.  It’s better to listen and learn, then later compare notes and complain.

Also, perhaps Harrisburg University will turn its experiment into tangible lessons for its students about responsible use of social networking sites. Or was the publicity the lasting legacy of this fast?


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