Friday, October 08, 2010

Is Facebook getting closer to schools?

New feature lets users sort friends according to different relationships; ed-tech officials are split over whether it's an appropriate communication and collaboration tool for students.  I saw comments fly by on Twitter and also on Facebook itself following the announcement.  Educators are fearful of trying to use this social networking tool with all the privacy and cybersafety issues around today.  This fear means that we ignore the main component of many peoples communications.  It is nearly like schools banned phones or email. 

That is why I hope the new "Groups" application with specific content sharing capacities and better controlled communication/collaboration will dissipate these fears.  If we expect the students of today to become the posters of tomorrow, somewhere we need to teach them how to be effective.  “More collaboration and sharing of resources is a tremendously valuable development for schools,” said James Bosco, principal investigator for the Consortium for School Networking’s project on Web 2.0 use in education, called Participatory Culture in Schools: Leadership & Policy.  And the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) from the International Society of Technology Educators emphasizes collaboration - communication in a web-connected world.

Through use of more restrained vehicles (Moodle, ePals, StudyWiz, etc.), we are starting the process, but there is nothing like truly authentic learning.  I wonder if this will change the way it is seen inside the educational walls.

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