Dan Cox | @videlais

"No Professors Allowed!": Social Media,
Classroom Practices,
and the 'Creepy Treehouse'

Dan Cox - Old Dominion University

For those that have Twitter accounts, tweet at @mweave23 (Megan Weaver) and @dprichards (Dan Richards) using the hashtag #ODUSC16.

Send either "Great job!"
or "You got this!"

Why did you do that?
(Other than me asking you to.)

What if your students had done it?

Creepy Treehouse (n.):
A situation in which an authority figure or an institutional power forces people into social or quasi-social situations (Stein, 2008).

McBride (2008) calls them
inauthentic learning spaces that try to beckon students into online spaces by pretending to be genuine social networks."

How does a treehouse become creepy?

"institutional encroachment on friendship driven spaces"
(Santo, 2011)

"[violate] norms of the faculty-student relationship"
(McEwan, 2012: p. 20)

"Disclosures posted to the Internet
...received by unintended audiences" (boyd, 2011)

A creepy treehouse is inauthentic, invades, and forces participation.

What would a good
treehouse look like?


Are students interacting,
or are they engaging?


"Well defined, relevant and transparent" (McBride, 2008)


Are students learning, or are students learning to learn?

A good treehouse is
, responsible,
and reflexive.

How do we make good treehouses?


Summarize this article in five emoji.

What would this character tweet at this point in the story?


Submit an image that matches a theme in the story.

Share a meme that explains an idea from this article.


"Using either your account, or one created for this assignment, post..."

References (1)

boyd, d. (2011). "Dear Voyeur, Meet Flaneur... Sincerely, Social Media." Surveillance and Society 8(4), 505-507.
Fister, B. (2008). Creepy Treehouse. ACRLog. Retrieved from http://acrlog.org/2008/05/17/creepy-treehouse/
Jones, J. B. (2010). The Creepy Treehouse Problem. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/the-creepy-treehouse-problem/23027

References (2)

Lunsford, A. A., & Ede, L. S. (2012). Writing together: Collaboration in theory and practice, a critical sourcebook. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins.
McBride, M. (2008). Classroom2.0: Avoiding the "creepy treehouse". Melanie McBride. Retrieved from http://melaniemcbride.net/2008/04/26/creepy-treehouse-v-digital-literacies/
McEwan, B. (2012). Managing Boundaries in the Web 2.0 Classroom. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. no. 131, DOI: 10.1002/tl.20024

References (3)

Oshea, K. (2009). Creepy Treehouse Effect – How do we social network in Higher Ed?. Retrieved from https://www.purdue.edu/learning/blog/?p=210
Santo, R. (2011). Avoiding the "Creepy Treehouse" When Using Technology to Connect Learning Ecologies. Empathetics: Integral Life. Retrieved from https://empathetics.org/2011/10/25/avoiding-the-creepy-treehouse-when-using-technology-to-connect-learning-ecologies/
Siemens, G. & Weller, M. (2011). Higher education and the promises and perils of social network. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8(1) pp. 164-170.

References (4)

Weller, M. (2008). When Is A Creepy Treehouse A Community Of Practice?. The Ed Techie. Retrieved from http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2008/05/when-is-a-creep.html
Young, J. R. (2008). When Professors Create Social Networks for Classes, Some Students See a "Creepy Treehouse". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/when-professors-create-social-networks-for-classes-some-students-see-a-creepy-treehouse/4176