New Social Software Tries to Make Studying Feel Like  Facebook 


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?

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2 thoughts on “New Social Software Tries to Make Studying Feel Like  Facebook 

  1. I’m all for such developments, even though it kind of seems to fun to be true. Like they gave the reigns to a student. Still, adapt and evolve is a motto that schools should keep in mind and maybe this is it. I’m not saying the idea is perfect or usable at this stage, but they do have the right notion.

    Some can argue that with this they’re trying to fix what isn’t broken and I can agree. The school system has worked pretty much the same way since forever and we don’t see any negative effect on society.

    At the same time, life in 2013 is not the same as it was in 1993. A lot has changed, technology has reinvented our lives and we’re only in the starting stages. It’s only been a decade or so. Imagine how much things will change when we’re all in our 30’s and 40’s? Scary.

    So the implementation of such practices may be the new way to study, or at least a complement to the current system. Still, I think it’s a bit early for something like this, but I do see it happening. It’s like the iPAD. Steve Jobs had the idea in development back in the 80’s but didn’t launch it because people weren’t quite ready for it, technologically. It was too big of a leap. Of course, that iPAD was nothing similar to the current one, but still pretty advanced for the 80’s.

    All of this gets me excited and scared, though. We’ll see what happens. Our poor children … 😀

    • I completely agree, when I look at the kids today, I already feel like im super old… we spent our days playing in our gardens, hanging with friends etc, and today things have already stepped away from this. Children spend their days on Facebook or their play stations rather than experiencing the interactions we did only a few years prior.

      As far as i remember reading, these kind of platforms are already in play… when they finally reach us is when we can see how they will change our study habits even more, and if it impacts us positively or negatively. Personally I would love to sell my notes for profit for instance, but positive things can also turn into something negative…but …I guess we will never know till we try this out for ourselves 😀

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