Can social media cure low student engagement?

Facebook Courses gives students a host of applications designed for more productive group work, in-depth research, and efficient studying. WikiSeek Search, for example, lets students find Wikipedia articles through the social-networking site. Notecentric is an app that shares class notes with other students on Facebook.

Facebook Courses also has web tools for faculty members. Webinaria Screencast Recorder allows professors to record a lecture and share the video with students through Facebook. The Mathematical Formulas application lets professors distribute formulas and solutions to their students on the site.

“Blackboard is great, but it’s not collaborative and archival,” said Casey, co-founder of, a web site that connects NYU students with employers. “You can only collaborate with students in your class, that semester.”

Blackboard has introduced more collaborative tools in recent years, including an instant-messaging feature unveiled last spring. The Blackboard Sync program lets professors deliver course content and alerts through Facebook. If a student signs up for Blackboard Sync, he or she can check discussion board posts and grades while logged into Facebook.

Professors and their students can discuss lesson plans and homework questions with the instant messenger’s pre-populated class rosters, which provide connectivity between classmates who might be encountering the same problems in preparation for quizzes and tests.

Some education officials have been reluctant to embrace social networking because of safety and security issues revealed in nationwide studies.

Nine out of 10 American teens use some form of web-based social networking, and 34 percent of parents are aware of the inherent security risks of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, according to a recent survey released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

“Teens explained to us how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,” said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist and author of the report, “Teens and Sexting.” “These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.”


Social Media Week

Facebook Courses applications

Blackboard Sync

Comments are closed.