Tony Hirst has a long post, with many links looking at how far we should be encouraging students to use Web 2.0 tools, either independently or through some form of institutional setup.
The more that I look at it, I think that while we should be opening students eyes to the range of tools that are available – we shouldn’t expect them to rely on them; unless we have a good system in place for failures. What, for example would happen were the current court case between Facebook and ConnectU to result in the closing of Facebook?
That’s not, however, a reason to stop students using Web 2.0 tools, nor one for us to stop investigating what can be done. HOwever, I’m coming round more and more to the idea that something like Elgg, which has many, (though not all) of the features of assorted Web2.0 tools to be the “accepted” tool; but, to encourage students to set up (and backup!) other systems. Just as I, as a student had chats in the bar/ cafe/ (whispered) library / by the hot chocolate machine outside the labs etc; which weren’t archived at all – I just had to remember it; so we now have many opportunities – which students can participate in; but they also have more options to capture and save it (in multiple locations ideally)
Tony’s article has lots of links – worth following!