Saturday, February 14, 2009

Facebook as an Educational Tool?

Today I read two articles about Facebook. The first was Lev Grossman's "Facebook is for Old People" in Time Magazine and then Will Richardson's blog post "Facebook as Tipping Point?". I started thinking about these articles and came to the realization that as the average age of a Facebook user increases, the main reason for blocking networking sites in schools will begin to diminish. The principal reason social networking sites like Facebook are blocked in schools are fear and misunderstanding. The apprehension felt by some parents, teachers and administrators is often misguided since most of the people who make decisions about which sites are accessible in schools are unfamiliar with the potential of these sites since they are not familiar with them. I believe this fear and misunderstanding will diminish as more of the gatekeepers become active on networking sites. The changing demographics of Facebook is causing social networking sites to become more mainstream, and more understood. The greater the understanding we have about networking sites the more opportunity we have for discussion, which in the end could lead to access to these sites in the schools.

(Photo "Facebook" by laikolosse)