ICTs for education calls unfolds the dimensions of thinking hitherto unknown in pedagogical methods, be it distance learning, e-learning, open coursewares or the innovative use of ICTs to address challenges like literacy etc. Since there is no boundaries preventing the use of ICTs in education we find plenty of brilliant ideas coming up now and then. Creating new resources and starting new projects is resource intensive and time consuming, whereas building on the existing platforms is relatively easy! When it comes to social networking websites FACEBOOK is the name of the game. With over 350 million users worldwide, majority of them being in teens, Facebook, possesses an immense potential for becoming a platform for providing education and learning resource (though its not meant to be so yet facebook applications are free to fiddle with and can be hooked up to serve the purpose!).
The idea for use of Facebook as e-learning resource is not new. It has been discussed and considered at different platforms. A few examples are presented.
Jasna Matic, Serbian Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, presented a project on the use of the online social network Facebook for educational purposes at a UNESCO conference in Paris on Monday. The complete article appears here. The example quoted is of facebook pages of National heroes providing details of their life histories and achievement for the school children, who find it fun to learn it ‘Facebook style’.
Facebook provides all the advantages of web 2.0 and combines it with the social aspects of technology to expedite the sharing of information. A few immediate advantages of using Facebook as learning tool are discussed here. Though the idea of using Facebook seems very lucrative yet there are many intricacies involved (a detailed account here) like privacy concerns and it ‘social media structure’ — which essentially puts checks on the information penetration. If these caveats are taken into account and applications are so designed to serve the purpose discretely, facebook is matchless! A case study about use of facebook groups as a teaching tool is discussed here. Another article presenting all facts and figures for the use of facebook as a learning tool is accessible here. The strongest case for using facebook, as suggested by the article, is certainly the usage of facebook: use the platform everyone is already using.
Other useful resources and study groups: