Facebook in HE
A quickie... and one that I meant to write a while back actually, in response to a short debate I watched happening on one of the Higher Education Academy mailing lists about the use of Facebook in UK universities. Unfortunately, as with many of my potential blog posts, it got forgotten at the time. Then, more recently, I noticed that Brian Kelly had posted on the subject, What is the Evidence Suggesting About Facebook?, leading to several comments and a response by Paul Walk, Why I suppose I ought to become a Daily Mail reader.
The problem with Facebook in HE is that we tend (not always I'll admit, but often enough to be worth noting) to approach it with questions like, "how can we use Facebook in universities to allow us to engage with them?" - where 'us' is the lecturers and 'them' is the students. And this approach tends to degenerate into the kind of, "oh, but Facebook is their space not our space" or, "is it OK for me to have a student as a Facebook 'friend'?" debates that we see so regularly.
If, instead, we approached it with questions like, "how can we use Facebook in universities to facilitate students/prospective students/alumni talking to other students/prospective students/alumni?" - as, for example, Ruth Page does in Facebook Fresher's group: Success story - I think we'd be on firmer ground.
Basically, it's about using Facebook (or any other social network for that matter) to facilitate conversations in spaces that 'we' are not necessarily part of.