Even cells need a Facebook page; using FB pages to focus on cell specialization.

Last semester my Biology classes digitally created Facebook pages for each organelle in the cell. It was OK, but I wasn’t completely happy with the results so this semester I tweaked the project and am very happy with the results.

Liver Cell, who very busy detoxing!

First of all I went back to the paper form that I had been using for years, some projects just are better on paper. Secondly I had student’s select a specific cell in the body and then try to highlight how this cell is special. This promoted some higher level thinking and imaginary details. Most students selected cells that we had already talked about, pancreas, liver, muscle and nerve cells.

Larissa Liver Holder.

I am always amazed, surprised and a bit relieved when I see just how imaginative students are. My commitment to allow for and provide varied and creative projects is renewed.

My favorite on is the one below by a student who at first was flummoxed by this project but then got the idea and ran with it. Sometimes the simpler things……

Muscle cell , good friend of Arnold!
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3 thoughts on “Even cells need a Facebook page; using FB pages to focus on cell specialization.

  1. Thanks for the post! I actually tried a very similar assignment for the first time this year. Like you, I was initially luke warm about the results. I really like your idea of having students focus on a particular cell type and will try that next year when I rework the assignment. Because Facebook is all about social networking, I had hoped the assignment would encourage students to think about how organelles work together. I tried to encourage comments between organelles that have related functions. I think that part was moderately successful. It is nice to hear another Biology teachers perspective on the assignment!

    • Hi Julie, thanks for the comment. I liked the organelle focus from 1st semester, the kids came up with some great “chats” between organelles. But I have to say I like this focus a bit more, as it takes their focus up a level and onto structure and function a bit! I am trying to move to more “big picture” ideas whenever we can, but as you know in Bio. a topic can quickly be reduced to a pile of vocab. words. Small baby steps forward! Did you you use paper or digital for your assignment? I really preferred the paper over digital. I also thought next time, students could walk around the class and write on other “cells” FB walls to make it more interactive.

  2. I used a word document template that I found online. I’d be happy to send it to you if you are interested. Students were able to paste pictures into the document pretty easily. I opted not to use Fakebook. I did the activity pretty early on in the year, and I can’t remember what I didn’t like about Fakebook. I think I may have had a hard time inserting images. Here is a post about different options for this type of project: http://web20edu.com/2011/04/16/fake-facebook-templates-and-pages-for-student-projects/

    I think that getting students to write on other walls is a great idea! I am wondering if a shared google doc would be a way to have students view and write on other walls?

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