A Bit of Personal Reflection: Facebook as a Learning Tool?

30 08 2007

Sue’s comment to this blog post about Mobile Facebook, asking for ideas on how Facebook could be used as a learning tool, prompted me to experiment with the possibilities in Facebook and Facebook Mobile.

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But while both Facebook and blogs owe their original pedigree primarily to social (as distinct to working or studying) motivations, I’ve grappled with some initial reservations, thinking about opening my existing Facebook profile to my colleagues across the Australian (and International) Flexible Learning Community.

It’s not that I don’t trust y’all with all of the details I have posted in my private profile. Okay, actually, maybe I don’t. 🙂

The solution, of course, is simple – create a whole seperate profile to log into during work hours – a professional Facebook presence, devoid of (too) personal revelations and socialising temptations. Just as a savvy blogger will have a separate personal blog and a professional blog (and never the twain shall meet), so too is it a good idea to create a seperate account on Facebook that is designed to enable communications and professional networks, without the colourful clamour of Facebook friends.

I guess I will have to do a similar kind of thing with most of these social web tools, despite the inconvenience of having to have seperate passwords and administration for each one. Indeed, it’s looking as if I’m actually creating two completely different worlds online: a network of professional social sites, and a network of personal social sites… two very different mes, with the occasional convergence (e.g. my Flickr account).

Right. Hopefully, that was the hard part. Now to figure out the best ways to use my (Serious) Facebook – and (Serious) Facebook Mobile – accounts, to support and enhance learning… hmmm. Featuring news, RSS feeds, and surveys, Jacinta Gascoigne‘s Facebook page appears to be a good place to start…

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3 responses

30 08 2007
Sue Waters

Actually I read his response today and am still thinking of my response back. So will post my thoughts here first. I had a Facebook account several months, and some of my students are also in Facebook.

At the moment my feeling is that, please, come on lets just let them have this network for them to use, socialize and interact within how they choose. Surely it is okay to say this is yours, use it to connect with your fellow classmates how you choose to do so, and if you want to you can connect with me.

Here is a social network that they can choose to use to link up with us and share more about themselves, outside the learning environment. For example, one of my students posted a picture on my wall saying here Sue look this is what I like to do in my life outside of TAFE. This part of his life I wouldn’t have found out about if it had not been for Facebook.

Now if we talk mobile devices, yes I have a PDA with phone. Yes, I access mobile Facebook on it but no at the moment I would not expect students to. WHY, because most of them do not have devices that can access the mobile web and the cost. Trust me – I do not use my phone a lot but it is expensive accessing the Internet on it. Besides it is more enjoyable using my PDA to access mobile twitter than Facebook.

Sue

31 08 2007
Mobile Technology in TAFE » Blog Archive » Aussie Slogger Celebrates Blog Day 2007

[…] Mark does deserve a mention for grabbing both mine and Leonard Low’s attention with his post on Facebook on […]

10 09 2007
Mark

I was thinking that it would be helpful to have a “professional” Facebook Page as well, and I noticed a business, Fleur De Leis Fashions.com, that is doing that. And now I come across your article…..

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