Does social media make Aspen seem slower by comparison? (Caroline Lawrence)

In a Facebook-powered world of convenience and instant gratification, Aspen’s recent failure seems especially frustrating to many students, teachers, and parents.  “It’s annoying because my parents bug me all the time about my grades, and I don’t know what they are,” vented a student.  She estimated that she spends an hour a day on Facebook.

While Aspen is quickly gaining infamy around Centennial for being hard to use, members of Facebook have no such complaints.  Its straightforward layout is one of the many things that help to attract 700,000 new users in a single day.  Many of these users devote at least an hour a day to it or other social media sites, like Twitter and YouTube.  When so many people spend so much time on one type of website, other types of technology start to conform to that model.  Take, for instance, Edmodo- known to many as “the education Facebook” because its format is so similar.  “It’s easy, it’s convenient,” said Ms. Harris, who uses Edmodo in her technology classes to collect and grade assignments, as well as connect with students and parents.  “When I saw Edmodo as a resource for teachers and students, I was ecstatic.”
Education media are not the only ones taking a cue from Facebook.  Many sites have incorporated aspects of it into their makeup in hopes of reeling in new users.  This has the additional effect of streamlining technology, making it more intuitive and efficient.  That way, even people who don’t directly use social media benefit from its consequences.  That has its drawbacks, though- when lots of people are used to technology that works in the same way, other tools seem more difficult by comparison.

Right now, it seems that nobody in the Centennial community is particularly enthusiastic about Aspen.  In the words of Profesora Wilson, “It’s not very user-friendly.  It might be beneficial once it’s up-and-going, but right now it’s a hard switch.”

According to hcpss.org, the Howard County Public School System originally expected Aspen to start working at the beginning of the school year.  Later, it changed this date to mid-September, and then again to the end of the month.

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