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Thursday, 30th October 2008

Social Networks, the Next Educational Tool?

Social Networks, the Next Educational Tool?

At last year’s Educause conference, in Seattle, educators pondered what to do about students’ technology habits. Should they try to change them? Accept that they’re here to stay? Try to co-opt them?

A lot can change in a year. Many colleges seem to have moved on from the question of whether to follow students’ lead on technologies they prefer, from Web-based e-mail to Facebook to text messaging. Now, the dilemma they face is whether to adapt students’ existing habits — of messaging each other, checking each other’s profiles and browsing upcoming parties — to the educational realm.

A study conducted this year at Arizona State University sought to take a closer look at first-year students’ use of social networks, mainly Facebook and MySpace. While many of its findings aren’t surprising on the whole, the survey suggests potentially useful conclusions for educators thinking about how to use social networks to reach out to students — both as college applicants and as enrolled pupils.

Source: Inside Higher Ed


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