Monday, January 11, 2010

Social Networking Sites

Social networking platforms come in many different forms and names. Twitter, Ning, Bebo, MySpace, Facebook are but a few. How many have you tried? How many have you signed up for and have since forgotten your login/password? If you’re anything like me the answer will be more than a few! Facebook (FB) and I have been friends for a few years now. I find FB a great way to keep informed of my friends updates. I have many ‘friends’ on FB that I have never met and I have categorised these people under their appropriate titles, i.e friends, friends of friends, gaming buddies, contacts for apps etc.

One of my concerns when signing up for anything online is the need (on the part of the website) to use your personal details including identifiable information (name, dob, address, city, country, phone numbers, colour of underwear (lol) etc). More often than not to protect my identity from potential identity theft and/ or just identification, I use a false DOB in combination with my own name. This however can cause problems as in the case of my friends on FB sending me birthday greeting 7 months before my birthday because the DOB I used. LOL, I now have two birthdays a year! Something that isn’t really needed once you pass the age of about 18.

I can now appreciate how Social Networking sites can be used for teaching and learning in some circumstances and how these sites could be used to encourage younger learners to interact with each other with written communication. I have learnt on this course that while Social networking sites have their place for social experiences (hence the name) they also have their place in education even if that place is to just encourage communication in some form or another.


  1. What would you see as the issues for a facilitator using social networking platforms?

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  3. If I was a facilitator with the students I have everyday (mostly teenage boys) within a social networking platform one of the main issues (and the most detrimental to my course) would be getting them back from the virtual world. I can imagine that if I was to open up one SNP to them I would be fighting to gain control of the classroom and their attention for the rest of the semester (Opening one SNP would be like giving an unauthorised permission to use other (non related) sites.

    Some of the considerations I see as important when deciding whether to use online resources or not are:
    • Am I using it for the sake of using technology or will it benefit the learner?
    • Will it detract from the purpose of the course?
    • Are the participants skilful enough to get benefit from the tool?
    • Is their enough time for participants to fully utilise the tool?