Facebook –The Beginning Facebook is the most widely recognized social networking site in the world, and it only took 6 years! Mark Zuckerberg, founder, started the site as a Harvard computer science student. The original intent was to rank who was ‘Hot’ and who was ‘Not’ within the student population. After being shut down by the University he rewrote the code and the site became a social study site for Harvard students.
Facebook –The Beginningcontinued This site caught on very quickly and was joined by Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes. They expanded the site for students at Stanford, Columbia and Yale, then eventually opened up to most Universities in North America. The site then started to transform rapidly and turned into the social network that it is today.
Facebook-Today Microsoft owns a portion of Facebook and they have room to expand their ownership as well as owning part of the advertising revenues. Facebook is an highly watched company by potential investors, current investors, businesses considering advertising, students and general populations. The Social Network movie was made and released in 2010 highlighting the fast and expansive use of Facebook.
Facebook-Future The possibilities with Facebook seem endless. They have successfully won several legal battles regarding privacy issues. There is still a large market yet to be exposed to Facebook. There is a great opportunity to capture and grow the advertising aspect of Facebook. Facebook has been used to help police find fugitives who violated their parole. It has also been used to predict the election results.
Facebook-MDDE 610 and Education How can Facebook benefit students? In this demonstration a various screens will be shown regarding MDDE 610. In a real setting all students registered in MDDE 610 would create a Facebook page then they would be added as ‘Friends’. This would all access by all registered students. Educators can use Facebook to post review questions, essay topics, course notices, course requirements, ‘Events’ (i.e. due dates of projects) and an forum for students and instructors to pose and answer questions.
Facebook-MDDE 610 and Education-continued This format will help students who need additional assistance without feeling embarrassed or intimidated. It allows one-on-one with the instructor. It allows all students to discuss topics and ideas together in a atmosphere that is ‘safe’. For example a student that may be shy or finds public speaking difficult will be granted the same opportunity to ask questions, read feedback, read postings of other students, etc. This allows a more equal opportunity learning arena.
Facebook-MDDE 610 and Education-continued In an atmosphere, like Athabasca University, where students are in different parts of the Country and must contend with time zones, work schedules, family commitments, etc. Facebook is especially helpful to keep students connected. ‘Groups’ can be formed by students doing group projects. They can distribute each person’s part for the group project. They can, in turn, post questions, findings and their project portion results so that all pieces can be merged together to form the united project.
Facebook Demonstration The following slides will explain and show a demonstration of the various tools available for instructors to utilize Facebook as an education platform. The instructor in this example is “Kay Mdde”. A brief overview of the Facebook layout will be shown. The left hand column on the Facebook page shows all the links that are available to instructors. Some of these will be demonstrated in detail, in order to highlight the capabilities of Facebook in the education sector.
1st Step-Sign Up In order to access Facebook, every individual must have a unique email address and password. Once this is entered, a profile can be set up.
Signed Up Once you are signed up, the main profile page will be displayed, as below:
Accepting ‘Friends’ First step in setting up ‘groups’, etc on Facebook is to have ‘friends’. ‘Friends’ are people who you have accepted to have access, at some security level, to your Facebook page. In the case of educators, all ‘friends’ in one course would be the registered students. This will allow the students to have equal access to discussions, tests, etc. All ‘friends’ must be added by the instructor as illustrated below.
Creating ‘Groups’ Setting up a ‘Group’ is a great way to allow a class to access information. Each classmate would be added to the group in order to access the quizzes, tests, discussions, etc for the class. When students work in groups, a ‘Group’ could be set up specifically for them by adding only their names as ‘Members’.
The Wall This area is for friends to post comments, a great way for students to comment on the course, texts, essays, etc.
Schedule ‘Event’s This is the section where assignments, projects, tests, exams and all due dates can be posted. This allows the students to always have access to proper due dates and any details required for the topics.
Many Applications to be used As shown below, once a user is set up on Facebook, other ‘friends’ can be added in other categories
Beyond 1 course Students can get to know one another through messages and discussion boards. This can assist them in deciding what other courses to take, when deciding on University courses. They can expand their discussions beyond the course they find themselves involved in. This type of learning will enable faster, more educated decisions as well as a social peer meetings. Students may also find jobs after they finish their degrees simply from another student posting a message about company hiring.
Posting Notes Instructors can post ‘Notes’ showing the project instructions and allowing students to post comments. This will ensure a better understanding of the requirements and assist other students who are less likely to post comments or ask questions.
Summary The use of Facebook in education has an unlimited number of possibilities. At a minimum it will help keep the course organized and the content clear. Students will be assisted in clarifying any misunderstandings about expectations and keep them on track in their work at each stage. By virtue of the access by all students, those students that are shy or intimidated to ask questions publicly will now have the opportunity to do so an atmosphere that is safe for them. This allows them to focus on their studies in a less stressful atmosphere.
Summary-continued This platform in learning will also keep records for the course so that any future references can be investigated. As the world becomes more united and education grows in formats used, Facebook can become an invaluable tool for instructors and students around the globe.