Social Media in the Classroom: The Anti-Warhol Experiment

There’s a place in a man’s soul where heartache and longing meet. They gather to complain about life, and how it’s cheated them of all its riches. A lump formed dead center in my chest as I saw the artist reality show “Work of Art. ” I’d had the sensation a year before, as the producers gave me the, “Thanks for coming out, but we don’t want you…” spiel after my audition.

The Anti-Warhol Experiment

Rather than showing up to get on the show, I was there to conduct an experiment with social media in the classroom. Half a year into my new teaching gig with Rasmussen College, I was proud of how I’d molded the audition into a “reverse field trip” for my Humanities class. The premise was to report on the artists struggle and experience Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, while uploading it all to the Internet. With the explosion of reality TV, Warhol’s prophetic 1968 statement “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes,” had come true. Now with a cell phone and Twitter™, anyone could be famous.

social-media-vectorAs a class, we’d use social media for the powers of good, and expose the facade of reality television. I dubbed the assignment “The Anti-Warhol Experiment. ” Lurking in the shadows, the reality bug had already bitten me. I contemplated shaving my beard to get rid of the grey.

The Audition

With my iPhone®, I got the tracking shot of the line going around the block, my homage to Martin Scorcese and “The Last Waltz”. Interviews with artists were uploaded within minutes to YouTube®, and I was tweeting like a canary in a coalmine. Students were required to comment on the videos and Tweets, and then discuss later in class. Well, sort of in class, we discussed virtually using video chat on Yahoo! Again, it was all part of the reverse reality field trip. My students were all virtually auditioning with me.

The Anti Warhol experiment had turned into a unique learning environment. What better way to absorb Andy Warhol and his famous quote, than to see your instructor play it out on the Internet? Through the miracle of technology, students could witness these struggling artists online, and see my humiliating rejection within minutes of the real event. Ok, it wasn’t that humiliating. And witness they did, commenting on the submissions instantly.

The Scene

The scene outside the audition didn’t disappoint; there were girls with pink hair, people dressed as cows, artists interviewing artists as performance art, and an old guy wearing a jacket made of credit cards. I even interviewed “the freaks from New York” that were setting up their own free art school. I became addicted to using my phone. I could report on anything. The power went to my head. I WAS the Anti-Warhol, and I would bring down all reality shows from here on out. I became a hero, exposing false reality, and reporting real reality to my classroom.

Cancelled

I stopped recording. Our reality show had begun, flourished, and ended, all in a matter of hours. The Anti-Warhol was dead. I didn’t like how good I was at it; how I could just transform like that. Like all those years watching the Tonight Show had culminated for that moment. I’m an artist, an educator. This was to broaden young minds, change the world, and take down reality television. We were going to use social media for the powers of good, not evil!

The Dark Side

Had I become all that I had set out to defeat, a tool, a pawn in the game? Even if I was dying to be on the show, it was obvious that she was the goldfish, and I was dead in the water. I couldn’t compete in a million years. Like all good Kung Fu movies, the teacher had become the student. My class had learned about Warhol and social media, but I’d learned something about myself. Of course that part isn’t new; it’s one of the perks of being a teacher.

The Payoff

Our social experiment for the classroom had paid off. Through the sheer absurdity of the experience, my students would remember the artist’s struggle in a new and exciting way. And those that had never tweeted before, or commented on a YouTube® video, were part of a new unique classroom. Andy Warhol said that television was more real than real life. In that moment, I finally knew what he meant, and now I could report back to my students within minutes of my discovery. That was new to education. The reverse field trip had worked; just as my reality show audition had failed.

The Anti Warhol indeed.

About the author

Erik Ritter

Erik Ritter is a full-time faculty member teaching General Education Studies at Rasmussen University at the Lake Elmo, MN college campus. He has worked in the field of Education for over four years. Erik has a Master’s of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. He is an avid contributor to the visual arts, music, poetry, and film scenes throughout the Midwest.

default blog author

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits90 Credits180 Credits48 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTSStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREEStart HereMASTER'S DEGREEPURSUERSEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEEnd HereMASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS90 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNPMSNRN to BSNLPN to RN BridgeAccelerated BSNProfessional Nursing ADNPractical Nursing DiplomaPre-LicensurePost-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-maginify-glass icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked