Facebook for teaching and learning

For Barcelona/Spain-based Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Max Senges, Thomas Praus and I write a blog on technological trends and innovation in education. In the blog – called UOC Fórum Innovació – we look at the opportunities social media and web 2.0 technologies offer for education in universities and other fields.

We’ve been writing this for a little while now with rather low frequency, but we’re getting to a point where we produce more steady output. Partly we cover basics, partly more edgy ideas. This one is a classic, Thomas about how Facebook can be of value for university education:

Social Communities have grown rapidly over the last years, offering people the chance to publish personal information and connect with each other. The biggest social community today is Facebook with more than 120 million members. Due to the myriad possibilities to use Facebook, there many ways to support teaching and learning. Facebook started in 2004 at Harvard University and was aimed at connecting students. Now, almost every American student and many Europeans have profiles on Facebook. They use it to share information, such as links, photos and videos, to arrange real life events and to communicate in groups. The use of Facebook also shows the current cultural differences between teachers who slowly have to adapt to new technologies and students who grew up with digital communication. The differences in media use and learning behaviour between so called “digital native learners” and “digital immigrant teachers” are shown below. Understanding how to use Facebook opens up a way to stepping closer to actual student behaviour and to create a more appropriate way of teaching. image source: Apple Image source: Apple

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