Over the weekend, I gave a talk at the Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology. I have made a crib of the talk available for anyone who might find it valuable:
Abstract: Many American youth are embracing a wide array of social media as part of their everyday lives. From social network sites and texting to blogs and wikis, many youth are leveraging the power of social media to create, communicate, share, and learn. In this talk, I will use social network sites as a case study to examine critical shifts that are underway as a result of social media. I look at how inequality is perpetuated through these systems and the challenges that educators face when trying to incorporate these systems into the classroom. Finally, I conclude by discussing implications for educators.
The record of the Penn State talk is fantastic. I knew in my bones that Facebookers are more
likely to be self-identified “good students” but the alert about consequences is very welcome.
Pretty much everything you said made a lot of sense, and the few nits I found aren’t even worth picking.
I’m interested that anyone would even think of using SNSs in the classroom. Online communication systems come in a variety of designs, and – for the most part – they are designed for particular tasks – even though they may get hijacked by the users “The street finds its own uses for things”.
It doesn’t seem to me that the design of an SNS is useful for formal learning. How is it at all relevant to your pre-calculus experience for your fellow students to see who your “buds” or “peeps” are.
The model that would seem to make more sense is a combination website and forum board. The website proper would serve as a vehicle for the educator to present structured resources and receive formal student product. The semi-fluid structure of a forum board would seem to be ideal for all those less formal peer-to-peer “BS” sessions that do so much to make learning social.
Since many (perhaps most) forum board systems include a profile feature, pick one where this feature is robust enough to let the students (and the educator(s)) present and embellish themselves within an academic context.
I suppose, if there were a chat adjunct (like Flashchat) it would probably get used. Couldn’t really hurt to include it.
Just a thought,