The 21st Show

Facebook’s Obsession With Growth; What Motivates Students To Learn?; Why Illinois Doesn’t Have Division I Hockey


Ben Grosser

Around one in four people in the world use one of Facebook’s services. But Mark Zuckerberg has wants to make the company even bigger. Today, we speak with Ben Grosser, who’s been tracking this obsession with growth for years. Plus, when does school become less about learning and more about grades? One Illinois professor is working on ways we can grade students without using points. And, Illinois is in the top five states when it comes to producing college hockey players. We’ll learn why we still don’t have a Division I team in our own state.

Facebook’s Obsession With Growth

Fifteen years ago Mark Zuckerberg started a company called “TheFacebook” with his friends from college. At that time, the website was only available to Harvard students.

But now, Facebook is the world’s largest social media company by far, with more than two billion people using the company’s services  monthly, which now also include WhatsApp and Instagram.

And through it all, Mark Zuckerberg, now 35 years old, has been chairman and CEO. Today, he’s worth an estimated 70 billion dollars.

The sheer size of Facebook and the company’s focus on growing at all costs is the focus of a new project by Ben Grosser. It’s a film called Order of Magnitude and it traces nearly fifteen years of speeches by Facebook’s CEO. 

Ben Grosser is an associate professor of new media at the University of Illinois’ School of Art and Design. 

What Motivates Students to Learn?

Most students today are graded on a points system where a teacher will assign a value to the course and to each assignment. So, if you fail that big test or you turn in your project late, that loss of points can dramatically affect your whole grade.  

But when did school become less about what we learn and more about the amount of points we get? 

Jay Percell is an assistant professor in the school of teaching at learning at Illinois State University. He’s been advocating for alternatives to the traditional, numeric grading system. 

Jay Percell will also be giving a TEDx talk in Normal called “Make Grading Pointless” on Saturday at the Illinois State University Center for Performing Arts. 

Why Illinois Doesn't Have Division-I Hockey

Success of hockey teams like the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues has helped spur the growth of youth hockey here in Illinois. Today there are more than 20,000 hockey players in our state. That’s more than double what it was just two decades ago. 

But despite growth at the youth level, there are still no NCAA Division-I college hockey programs here in Illinois. 

For the past few years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been working on bringing a Division-I program to the university. Athletic director Josh Whitman was optimistic about it happening provided that “three or four key variables left” get done. 

Mike Snee is the executive director of College Hockey Inc an organization which helps advocate for Division one college hockey. John Fiflis grew up playing hockey here in Illinois. He also played club hockey at Iowa State University. 

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