Thursday, June 7, 2012

Social Networking/Chapter Response
Andy Haugen

Richardson’s discussion about social networking through mediums such as Facebook and Ning was interesting. It seems like everywhere I go that has a computer people are working or viewing a browser but you always see an additional one open to their Facebook page. It is pretty incredible that the site adds an additional 700,000 new people every day. I personally do not have an account for different reasons but Facebook can be a great connection tools that students, businesses, schools, and adults can benefit from. I had really only thought of Facebook as a social, spare time, fun type of site rather than an educational learning tool before reading this chapter.
The examples the author gives on pages 138-139 are good. Obviously students bought into what the teachers wanted and it worked really well. I did think that the same thing could have been done on a website and a blog much like our classroom portal and blog is set up. I do realize that it can be made private and past and future learners can come and connect through Facebook. The teacher realized that because all the students were already on Facebook it would be a fun and exciting way to get students involved and learning about a subject that many find boring.
In regards to Ning it sounds a little more complicated to set up and run while he mentions several times not to click on the Apps. I am curious why and to what this might entail! Overall, the goals for both sites are being able to connect and exchange information. Richardson stated that teachers and education are both very hesitant to create learning environments on Facebook and they have some well founded reasons. I think the students would become more excited about it or depressed because they may either feel the site is either something they know and enjoy or it could ruin it for them that homework would be posted to Facebook. Right now I am not convinced that I would use it in a classroom especially with all the other tools like blogs or wikis that could be used just as effectively but it will be interesting to see if Facebook becomes more widespread in the educational setting.    

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