Facebook, Meet Blackboard

How to put students off Facebook in one easy step?
I’ve tried to add it, but I’m told that our administrator has blocked access to it. I’m not quite sure whether I think that’s a good idea, or a bad one.

In someways it’s good, as there is the worry that Facebook may use the data inappropriately, however,

When it was still open only to college students, Facebook profiles often featured users’ course schedules with links to their classmates. Sync offers similar functionality, but within the private space of the application itself. In other words, it doesn’t show up on profiles at all.

“It’s a private application, so there’s sensitive information there that you wouldn’t want published to all your friends,” Gage said. Still, she said Blackboard hopes that students will use the application to connect with classmates and form study groups in what Michael L. Chasen, Blackboard’s president and CEO, referred to as “a new kind of social learning community” in the company’s announcement.

“Sync offers similar functionality, but within the private space of the application itself. In other words, it doesn’t show up on profiles at all” suggests to me that the data should be relatively safe; though, of course we have the issue that it’s on a US server, and we’re bound by stricter, EU regulations. So presumably that’s why they’ve blocked it.

I also wonder how much we want to encourage students to by pass Victory, it may be better to ensure that they go to it initially, and then (inevitably!) to Facebook.

The other issue is, of course, that students will start to move from Facebook to something else…

Overall, I think that blocking it was the right decision.

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