What is Facebook? • A “social networking” site • Framework for information • Complex control of who can see what • Users have a “profile” with a picture* and other personal details as they wish, including “limited profile” • Based on “Networks” • Facebook creates a newsfeed based on what your “friends” are doing* Picture is important for recognition, especially with common names
What is Facebook?• Started in Harvard University Feb 2004• Later added academic addresses (.edu, .ac.uk etc) making “networks” for “colleges” – Oxford network has just over 33,000 people in it, out a possible c. 45,000• Regional and Employer networks also exist – “Regional” anyone can join, but can’t change too often – “Employer” requires email address in the right domain• Opened to anyone with email in Sep 2006
Other Social Networking Sites• Bebo – lots of school children• MySpace – musicians etc. – Sometimes called “poor man’s facebook”• Friendfinder• Twitter• And other minor sites
Privacy Concerns• People worry about revealing their personal lives to the world• Tutors and Students may want to keep things from each other! – Restricted Profiles can help• Identity Theft Risk – Don’t show DOB and Home Address!• Facebook staff can check profiles (for policy violations)• Things are “cached” on the web so even if you put something up then remove it, it may still be held elsewhere for years!
How to control privacy• Privacy screen on Facebook• Settings for: – Profile – Search – News feed – Poke, message, friend request – Applications• Don’t put stuff up you don’t want others to see. Think about future employers etc.
Ownership Concerns• Facebook T&Cs say that they own everything you put there – All content on the Site … are the proprietary property of the Company.• Copyright Policy is strict – But don’t put things up you intend to publish or otherwise claim copyright to! – You acknowledge and agree that any questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, feedback or other information about the Site or the Service ("Submissions"), provided by you to Company are non-confidential and shall become the sole property of Company.
Disciplinary Action• Don’t name your employer and then defame them or say anything to bring them into disrepute• Oxford Students have been disciplined with evidence from Facebook after post-exam “trashing”• In April, students at a Toronto school were banned from an end-of-the-year trip after disparaging remarks about a teacher were found on Facebook
So why use Facebook for Teaching?• Personal and professional networking only differ in the content, not the tool• Students today are “digitally native”• There is a divide between the way they learn and the way we teach• We are the digital immigrants!• Teaching students the way they prefer to learn may improve attainment
Teaching• Have your students in groups?• Have them as Facebook “friends” perhaps with limited profile status• Post and share URLs – Weblearn material – Reading lists – Other online material• Photos & Videos (but watch copyright!)
Communicating• Groups – Discussions – Photos – Videos – Posted items (Weblearn URLs?) – Group events and invitations – Groups for tutorial groups? – Don’t have to be a friend to be in a group with someone• Personal messages & threads
Collaborating• Cross-Institution Groups• Subject-specific groups – Try searches• Groups or Events for specific conferences/meetings – UCISA is experimenting with this• Easy way to post and share videos and photos• Universal across HE worldwide (almost!)• Don’t forget ownership & privacy issues!
Exercises• Make a profile if you don’t already have one – Adjust your privacy settings – Join the Oxford network• Make friends with your neighbour• Make your neighbour only see your limited profile• Search for groups that cover your subject• Make a group and invite your neighbour to it – or join an existing one• Have a look at the Oxford network page• Search for some people you know – Unusual names are easier!
References• http://www.cit.cornell.edu/policy/memos/facebook.html – Useful notes from Cornell (April 2006)• http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm06/erm0660.asp – Notes from Educause December 2006 (long)• http://www.educause.edu/LIVE0621 – Live presentation: Facing Facebook and other social networking technologies• http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/webservices/2007/10/30/fear-of-facebook/ – Comments from a UK University• http://student.independent.co.uk/university_life/article3068385.ece – Networking sites: Professors keep out! (October 07)• http://www.apple.com/au/education/digitalkids/disconnect/landscape.html – The “digital disconnect”
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