On Campus
Aug 19, 2008, 06:05AM

Creepy Treehouse Syndrome

College professors are trying to keep up with the times, and meet their students in generationally-appropriate media, through class Facebook pages, instant messenger availability, and other social networking developments. But they're running into an old problem with all this new technology: students don't want to hang out with their professors on the Internet.

A growing number of professors are experimenting with Facebook, Twitter, and other social-networking tools for their courses, but some students greet an invitation to join professors’ personal networks with horror, seeing faculty members as intruders in their private online spaces. Recognizing that, some professors have coined the term “creepy treehouse” to describe technological innovations by faculty members that make students’ skin crawl.

Jared Stein, director of instructional-design services at Utah Valley University, offered a clear definition of the term on his blog earlier this year. “Though such systems may be seen as innovative or problem-solving to the institution, they may repulse some users who see them as infringement on the sanctity of their peer groups, or as having the potential for institutional violations of their privacy, liberty, ownership, or creativity,” Mr. Stein wrote.

  • you know this is really true. at my school a lot of profs have facebook pages, and im even friends with some upper-level administration. you just have to make sure not to post the picture of you giving a pretend blowjob at a party. or at least set your privacy settings so that they cant see them!!! be facebook smart, people!

    Responses to this comment
  • I am attempting to use Twitter with nursing students, only a few are engaging, I find out through my (MA)resaerch if this is an issue, or they just read read Tweets, and not say anything...watch my Twitter space! @jiMMUni #nurseteaching

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment