Facebook or Faceblock: Cautionary Tales Exploring the Rise of Social Networking within Tertiary Education

Facebook or Faceblock: Cautionary Tales Exploring the Rise of Social Networking within Tertiary Education

Peter D. Duffy
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-294-7.ch015
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This chapter presents an introduction to an overview of the rise of social networking platforms, systems, and tools within tertiary education, through an analysis and exploration of one such platform, namely the popular social networking website Facebook. Social networking sites, like other Web 2.0 services, emphasize online socialization, collaboration, user-driven content generation, and sharing among users. They enable different forms of pedagogy equally as they disable and challenge more traditional teaching and learning approaches within tertiary education. In this chapter, various criticisms, challenges, and concerns in relation to the incorporation of the new tools within the student learning experience are explored. The chapter seeks to illuminate some of the educational possibilities of incorporating Web 2.0 social network structures provided by websites such as Facebook into academic courses, and to offer suggestions for effectively leveraging these emergent social networks to enhance the student learning experience.
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Online Social Networking

Lenhart and Madden (2007), in their report for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, state that social networking use has quadrupled in the last three years among adults in the U.S., and that roughly 35% of adults now have profiles on social networking sites. However, it is arguable that the Internet has been used for social networking since its early days, even before the genesis of the World Wide Web. Early adopters engaged in online interactions through newsgroups, listservs, and discussion forums, and participated in communities comprised of individuals who possessed the ability to access and technical competence to make use of these forms of online communication.

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