I recently came across an article whilst trying to find some literature for our final project for this class, and I thought it would be something very interesting to post here. the article was written in 2010, and is called “New Social Software Tries to Make Studying Feel Like Facebook”. I figured not only is this applicable to our course, but also to us as with most students we would rather play on Facebook (even if its super boring) rather than study…
As we all know, most of us, if not all of us are engulfed by the Facebook world, and as the authors of this article put it, “Students live on Facebook”. So why not utilise this opportunity, and instead of trying to get students to come to you to learn, why not go to them? The study tools they have launched act like social networks and are intended to be student magnets, maybe even with an added academic benefit.
Various new Web services have emerged across higher education, including universities, entrepreneurs and publishers, who have all adapted to this current buzz of social media. They are all competing to create market software that will in turn make sharing of notes as well as collaborating on calculus problems as simple as updating your Facebook status (Parry & Young, 2010).
Hill, the chief executive of OpenStudy (2010) one of the few social learning sites states: “Our mission is to make the world one big study group”. Many of the sociallearning sites today are similar to OpenStudy; for-profit
companies—or aspiring to be a for-profit company. Some of these business plans even rely on paying students for their notes in order to create a more successful site.
The article poses some very interesting questions which I would in turn like to pose to you, in order to find out your insights on turning learning into a social thing, on a social network. The questions raised are as follows: Are students really interested in social learning online? If students profit from selling their notes, are they infringing on a college’s or a professor’s copyright? Andwhile the sites are not part of the seamy world of exam or term paper vendors, what happens if some users post answers to tests?