I'm working with a group who is trying to look objectively at Facebook, Myspace and other social networks to find if there are meaningful lessons about their popularity which we could incorporate into electronic portfolio design for use in higher education. It might well turn out that these spaces are popular with students mainly because their "teachers" aren't there, but we're hopeful that there are some more objective lessons to take away.
The first step in our project is to engage in a fairly complete literature survey. We're working on a bibliography, but I didn't want to pass up your collective knowledge -- does anyone know of scholarly work done/being done on Facebook and Myspace specifically that we should not miss?
For the past few weeks, a reporter from the Pittspurgh Post-Gazette has been working on an article on weblogs in higher education. I was delighted to see some of my favorite anecdotes about my students' blogging made their way into the article.
It begun when I read RIP-OFF 101, a report detailing how the textbook industry is inflating the costs of college textbooks by a variety of means, most of them devious. It goes beyond the "new edition" that differs only in pagination. It's a national scandal. I don't want to be associated with it. I find it embarrassing. I want it to go away. Let me add my voice to those of students demanding that the the $70 composition textbook remain on the shelf. We don't need them that badly and never did. Thankfully, there is something we can do about it. Find out how.
Submitted by Kim White on September 15, 2005 - 14:34
Dear Kairos Readers,
The Institute for the Future of the Book is pleased to announce the launch of next\text, a new project designed to encourage the creation of born-digital learning materials that will enhance, expand, and ultimately replace the printed textbook.
There are two stages to the next\text project. The first is a curated website showcasing significant projects currently in the field. The aim is to draw attention to a broad range of experiments that identify ways in which digital media and networks are expanding the potential of textbooks, redefining the role of teacher and student, and converging to create new ecologies for educational institutions. These areas include, but are in no way limited to: "expanded" multimedia textbooks; "open-source" textbooks continually improved by teachers and students; dynamic, networked textbooks with live or regularly updating components; collaborative work spaces; and multi-user games.
I serendipitously encountered this collection of student projects from a course at Stanford: Computer Science 201, Computers, Ethics, and Social Responsibility. Looks like it was a stimulating course, judging from the students' work: