Harrisburg University of Science and Technology made headlines in September when it announced that it would block the use of social media on the campus network for five days.
Three months after the experiment, a post-mortem by the university says that many students and professors who initially disapproved of being forced to unplug for a week seemed to moderate their opinions once their connections had been restored. Furthermore, according to surveys and focus groups conducted by the university, many students said that during the so-called blackout they found lectures more interesting, enjoyed greater health and concentration, and devoted more time to their homework.
One student told the university’s provost, Eric D. Darr, “that he had to actually talk to his professor during the blackout,” the report notes.
It’s amazing how connected we are at this point. Cell phones, iPods, laptops, netbooks, tablets, always on and always connected to something. But is this a blessing, or a curse (or both!)? What do you think? Would you put your students on a social media blackout if you could?