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Word of the Day: Creepy Treehouse

OK, it’s a phrase, not a word. But I’d not heard of it until Howard Rheingold mentioned it in a tweet. Flexknowlogy has a short essay describing various ways the phrase is used. Here’s one that is important for college professors (and the reason Howard was tweeting):

n. A situation in which an authority figure or an institutional power forces those below him/her into social or quasi-social situations.

With respect to education, Utah Valley University student Tyrel Kelsey describes, “creepy treehouse is what a professor can create by requiring his students to interact with him on a medium other than the class room tools. [E.g.] requiring students to follow him/her on peer networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.”

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

3 replies on “Word of the Day: Creepy Treehouse”

Interesting to have a name (albeit a with a whiff of PeeWee Herman) to go with a something that has been nagging at the back of my mind.

Perhaps, on occasion, a student may actually be a peer of a professor – in graduate school – for “returning” students. Usually it’s a not very well conceived fiction that muddles the expectations of both the students and the teachers. And students spot them from miles off.

BTW The full article from flexknowlodgy ought to be required reading for all Web 2.0 start ups and their venture capitalists. So much money is being poured into so many “creepy treehouses” and they just can’t seem to understand why they fail…

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