Funded Facebook Course Apps

Tony Hirst looks at some tools that allow integration between Facebook and courses. While he comments

One thing we are wary of doing with the app is intruding on the student’s social space; so finding useful things for users to do in the app without making it seem like we are forcing VLE functionality into Facebook is one of the thing’s we’re thinking around…

I’m still not convinced. I know that several universities are starting to look at Applications to allow users to view some University material, but the more I think about it, the less I think it’s a good idea.
I can see Facebook as being useful for groups of students to informally talk about work, as they might in the coffee shop, but do they also want their timetable on the notice board in there…
I’m going more and more down the theory that it’s good for informal discussions, but then to get students to transfer the skills they have developed into a more work centred setting.

4 thoughts on “Funded Facebook Course Apps

  1. “I’m still not convinced.”

    I think you’re maybe misinterpreting “so finding useful things for users to do in the app without making it seem like we are forcing VLE functionality into Facebook is one of the thing’s we’re thinking around”

    You say:

    “I can see Facebook as being useful for groups of students to informally talk about work, as they might in the coffee shop, but do they also want their timetable on the notice board in there…”

    In the OU context, (distance learning organisation), one of the things we’re trying to do with the app is help people find a particular coffee shop or bar in the student union building that is facebook…

    tony

  2. I’ve gone back and forth on this for a while, mainly because I *do* regularly use Facebook with my students. I require all undergraduates to “add me” as a friend, and since I have done that, I rarely get e-mails or phone calls from students. However, I do get “facebooked” daily. It has become the main method of communication between me and my students.

    I did create a Facebook group and tried to integrate using it into my course, but it was a big no-go. Students simply didn’t use it. I think it was just for what you mention: it intruded on their social space. They didn’t mind communicating through it, but beyond that, they really didn’t have any interest.

    Overall, it has improved communication in the classroom, but in my experience, I don’t think it’s for courses.

    Just my opinion . . .

  3. The principle is right, though the implementation may take some tweaking.

    The principle, specifically, is essentially the concept of taking learning content, adapting it as necessary, and transporting it to a context where it can be used – typically *outside* the educational context – outside courses and classes and the like – and into things like authoring tools, discussion lists, games, applications, and – yes – social networks. The idea is that learning, generically, is ubiquitous.

    The implemntation is the trick. t is quite true that somebody doesn’t want their work schedule posted in the room where they take their coffee break – but if they’re writing a paper in their living room, they like to be able to reach out and grab a book. The idea is to make the learning *available* but not *intrusive*, and to put it into a format that is *useful* (which – it must be said – is probably not in the form of courses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *