People, not things acting as social objects?

In teaching an undergraduate course in Integrating Technology into Teaching this semester, I am having the students use wikis to create their final projects. As a I think about social objects in light of this assignment, I am wondering if I have created a social object in education. A project based assignment seems to have some of the elements of social objects: the IPT students contribute and collaborate on a special needs student and his/her learning need using learning strategies and technology. I thought that the social object was the project but it seems to me that the social object is the student, not the project based assignment. Can a person be a social object?  Can a person be “content that acts as a social object”, as Weller defines a social object?  In structuring my course instead of thinking about assignments and assessments,  maybe I should be thinking about the objects that my students can get engaged in, the tools that facilitate the social interaction could be the assignments as well as the wikis or blogs.  It seems to me that students would find a person (a special needs child) far more engaging than a project assignment. Just random thoughts about how I am designing my course. . . or how I can do it better.

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One Response to People, not things acting as social objects?

  1. david says:

    If social objects are things that bring us together to socialize, ask, answer, and debate, then certainly people can be social objects! The Savior used stories about people frequently, and we still engage in earnest discussion about the prodigal son, the adultress, and the nine lepers frequently.

    Where we must be careful is in how we approach living people as social objects. Generally no one likes to be “a project” that several others are talking about, planning for, and scheming around. Generally. =)

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