Facebook In A Learning Environment

All regular internet users by now should realize that social networking sites are swiftly taking over the internet, with millions of people logging in every day to update their profiles, add pictures, checking up on what their friends are doing etc. The one website at the very centre of all this is Facebook, because ever since its launch in 2004, Facebook actually began for post-graduate students at Harvard university in USA, yet since then it has quickly spread all over the world and now currently has 150 million active users worldwide. Because of its popularity, Facebook is now being regularly used as a communication tool between students at universities, however, is that a positive or negative issue for universities such as AUC?

Why it’s positive

- Facebook can quite easily be used for educational purposes, as it can be used as a communication medium between students and their educators, where it makes for a much quicker and effective communication tool compared to the usual E-mailing, which of course is a much slower process, even if both users are online. Universities themselves could also inform students on important matters, instead of wasting paper to send them the same information.
- Students or the university itself can often spark protests or voting via Facebook, by creating a page/group and seeing how many people join-hence are in favour- of the topic concerned. Again a much quicker method of doing such matters.

Why it’s negative

- One word underlines why Facebook can’t be used in a learning environment- privacy. Facebook after all is open to the entire internet population, which of course is millions around the world, and the fact students share many of their personal information on it isn’t something universities would be happy with, thus making it quite undesirable in the classroom. This would especially be a problem if students share important information about the university via Facebook, being unaware that many other people will see that piece of information, which could be potentially damaging for the university, or the student.
- The problem with sending students information via Facebook is that all students have to first get a Facebook account, which many students might not want to.
- That also relates to the problem with students who already have Facebook, as they use it for a “peer-peer relationship”, it’s hard to believe that every single college student would be happy using Facebook as a “professional-student relationship”, which to many of them would be rather distasteful.
- Facebook might distract students from their studies. This hasn’t actually been proven, but many people think students would focus and study more if Facebook didn’t exist.

Overall, using Facebook in a studious environment wouldn’t be such a bad idea, as the pros are major, whereas the cons can be limited, as Facebook continuously update their privacy settings for their users. However, whether Facebook is the best idea to go with every university is far from certain, as it might work well for some, but disastrous for others. This might also build a trend. Making schools acquire Facebook, which isn’t the best idea, as younger children are more susceptible to making mistakes via Facebook. Nevertheless, the only way we’ll know if Facebook would work in a learning environment is hard to predict, yet some sort of project or experiment might be made regarding it in the future- Only time will tell.

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