Wednesday, February 16, 2011

e-Learning through Social Networking - #1 (Facebook)

The tremendous potential that e-Learning offers is now being efficiently tapped through sharing of knowledge online thanks to the fame and attention that the term 'social networking' has grabbed.
Online web forums are another technical networking outlets where geeks from all round the globe rendezvous and discuss related topics creating breakthrough in terms of technological innovations.

This post would take a sneak peek into the ways by which the online networking communities have paved the way for the sharing of knowledge through e-learning.

If this was not one of his motives, Zuckerberg has unknowingly unleashed a, what could be a powerful educational tool, if used properly.Everyone knows how to use Facebook to find old friends or connect with family, but how can educators use it as a learning tool?
Teachers can utilize Facebook for class projects, for enhancing communication, and for engaging students in a manner that might not be entirely possible in traditional classroom settings. Listed below are some of the most effective ways by which, we feel, e-learning can be done over facebook:

1. Book Reviews:
The online scholastic community is one that has been ever growing and with e-books replacing paper bound books, it is only appropriate that people share information and knowledge on the various genres of books online and learn about them with just a click.
2. Writer's Workshops:
There has been a sudden upsurge in the number of budding writers thanks to the kind of online learning and training packages & tools that enable aspiring script writers to develop their views in the suitable format. What once was a rare commodity, workshops on specific skills are now just a touch of the mouse away!
3. Journal Entries/Blogs:
Students can use the Notes section to post book reviews for other students to read or teachers to
grade, access each other's papers for peer reviews, or simply maintain online journal entries or
blogs allowing other students to respond and react.
4. Literature Responses:
Students can create facebook representation of works of literature or any unit of knowledge they
are learning about.
5. Follow News Feeds and Current Events:
Students may follow news feeds relevant to the course material in order to keep current
information flowing through the class.
6. Create a News Source for the Classroom or School:
Students can keep up with news like World News Webcast that provides video clips of world
news, share their favorite stories to their wall, and respond to classmates' news of interest.
Students can also use their status update feed as a breaking news source for sports results,
academic competition results, school news and events.

In terms of the break-up of the number of applications related to various fields on facebook, Education stands at a good 5th but it won't be long before it breaks into the top 3! What holds good for facebook holds good for almost all the other social networking sites. Another post on how the combination of e-learning with another micro-revolution named Twitter will soon be out. Check that out too.

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