Students give teachers full tour of Facebook

Chronicle Staff

At 2:45 p.m. last Tuesday afternoon, faculty members began drifting into Chalmers math lab.  Like attentive students on the first day of school, they seated themselves in front of a computer and waited for class to begin.

Their instructors, Daniel Ozen ’08 and Jonathan Kornblau ’08, prepared the projector screen for their lesson: a crash course in using Facebook.

The Facebook session was first suggested by Director of Studies Dr. Deborah Dowling in October, who received enthusiastic support from teachers via HWOnline.

Although Facebook is banned at school, math teacher Jacob Hazard created a temporary username.

Some faculty members were already familiar with the popular networking site while others knew next to nothing about it.

Teachers discussed the differences between MySpace and Facebook.

“MySpace is for little kids and Facebook is for older kids,” Math Department Head Paula Evans said.

Ozen and Kornblau projected the site’s “news feed,” and explained how users could stay up-to-date on almost every detail of their friends’ lives. 

The audience marveled at the self-updating feed, and, like well-behaved students, teachers raised their hands to ask questions.

The seniors also discussed networks, profiles and wall posting, a concept that generated some confusion. 

“Is the whole thing…your wall?” one teacher asked upon seeing Ozen’s profile page.

Many teachers were concerned about privacy.  “Larry the Lurker” became the nickname for a hypothetical stalker who pervaded teachers’ questions.

The two seniors accessed the privacy settings page and demonstrated how a user can become nearly invisible. 

Next, Ozen and Kornblau opened the AP Chemistry Support Group page as an example of a student study group.  Its profile picture, an old portrait of science teacher Stephen Marsden with a head full of blond hair, triggered a roar of laughter.

English teacher Martha Wheelock asked about Facebook dating, so Ozen explained how users coordinate their relationship statuses.  To illustrate his point, Ozen changed his own status to “single,” accompanied by an image of a tiny heart, which provoked more laughs.

Hazard said there might be a follow-up class later in the year.