Today we are much more connected as a society and more and more schools are using online networks to manage classes at schools and educational institutions. It is the time to capitalize on the popularity of social networking rather than fighting the inevitable?
A recent research (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project) found that 73 % of online teenagers use social-networking sites. They are regularly updating their Facebook / Twitter / MySpace accounts and use social networking to keep up with the latest news from their peers. Currently most social networking activity takes place off work schedule officially (or behind the back) and not in the classroom but a change to harness the power of social media is welcome and institutions are hoping to incorporate social networking into lesson plans. B-Schools like Harvard and Carneggie Mellon are already doing it. Its up to the rest to follow.
Today, thus it makes sense to have specialized social networking tools within the classroom, enabling educationally relevant academic matter for all students. This is not for students to communicate with classmates but to communicate with other students from within the school, or state or country or even internationally throughout the world. In essence, creating a broader network where students can learn from each other.
“The Web 2.0 evolution has enabled educational institutions to connect in transparent and impactful ways, achieving a greater competitive edge. However not all institutions have taken the full advantage of this movement. While over half of students report using social networking tools for educational purposes, faculty are not exploiting these tools to connect with students, instead preferring traditional methods of communication.” Next Generation Education Committee.
e-Business solution providers are now in the process of developing social networking aademics tools for usage in the schools. The trend towards a more collaborative and open learning / open source environment has been fueled by the explosive adoption of mobile devices among both students and faculty. This has made colleges and universities some of the most intensive adopters of wireless technologies and hence is well positioned to adopt social networking technologies for e-learning. The aim of providing seamless and secure access to data to students is so they are able to share knowledge, manage and build content while build their social network is the goal of the future netizens. This surely looks geared to position them to make better informed decisions while they are on campus or at school.
This Article is authored by Jake Mazan, who is a guest author at Business Fundas. He is a Senior Research Analyst cum Manager at NG-Online News.