CourseNetworking: How a Social Media Platform Can Connect Us in a Crisis

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Lamia Nuseibeh Scherzinger


“This is very scary. Everybody be safe, social distance, and wash hands please.”

“This has definitely been an odd semester. I’m very nervous for how the rest of the semester is going to go!”

“I am trying to not to be too afraid. I work in the medical field. It can be so scary.”

These are statements taken directly from my students this semester. How was I able to have my students open up so intimately and honestly? I use CourseNetworking, an academic social networking platform that can be integrated into Canvas, and have done so for years. I first started using it as a chance to get to know my students more since I never get to meet them face-to-face, often posting what we did over the weekend, our favorite TV shows and books, and discuss topics from the classroom that have popped up in everyday life. Then the pandemic hit and my students’ lives were turned upside down. Some were forced to move out of their campus housing, many lost their jobs, and all them had their classes go completely online. Campus leadership constantly worries how this pandemic might be affecting our students. We are told to reach out and let the students know we are here for them. We are encouraged to have frequent communication with them. And with CourseNetworking, this was already in place in my classes at the beginning of the semester. I have been able to reach out to my students each week and ask them how they are doing, and they are able to share with others how much their lives have changed. And thanks to a social media platform, my students and I are scared together, we are overwhelmed together, and we are alone together. But we are together.


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How to Cite
Scherzinger, L. N. (2021). CourseNetworking: How a Social Media Platform Can Connect Us in a Crisis. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 10(1). Retrieved from
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