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July, 2008:

7 Things You Should Know About Facebook

7 Things You Should Know About Facebook

Information literacy—the ability to negotiate the opportunities and risks of the Internet age—is increasingly important. Facebook, a leading social networking site, highlights the information literacy challenges college students face. The site allows individuals to create profiles that include almost anything they want to post and dynamically links their information to others with similar information. While Facebook allows for easy, spontaneous networking, students may not recognize the potential consequences of submitting personal information to a public forum.

Link: http://www.educause.edu/node/156820

7 Things You Should Know About Facebook II

Since ELI’s first brief on Facebook, the social networking site originally developed for college and university students has become available to anyone. It now offers new ways of organizing social networks as well as extensive new features and access to other Web applications. Users can now manage online identities and engage other users much more easily. They also enjoy privacy policies that give them unprecedented control over how their personal information is handled on the site.

Link: http://www.educause.edu/node/156828

Blackboard Sync for Facebook

Let’s face it. You would live on Facebook if you could. Imagine a world where you could manage your entire life from Facebook – it’s not that far off! Right now, though, one thing missing is your academic life. You have to access a different system to get your course information and you don’t always know when something new has been posted or assigned, so it’s difficult for you to stay on top of your studies. We get it. That’s why Blackboard is offering Blackboard Sync™, an application that delivers course information and updates from Blackboard to you inside Facebook.

You can find out if you have a new assignment, grade, new forum posts, etc., without having to leave Facebook. Blackboard Sync also cross-references your courses’ Rosters with Facebook to make it easier to connect with your classmates through Facebook.

So go ahead and install Blackboard Sync and start getting course updates and connecting with classmates through Facebook right away.

Link: http://www.blackboardsync.com/
Link: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=27522527824

Faculty Ideas about Technology: Wikis

Faculty Ideas about Technology: Wikis
Kimberly Arnold and David Eisert

Wikis are an increasingly popular trend sweeping through educational institutions around the world. Although they were originally viewed as another technological trend serving as a stopgap, wikis have firmly planted themselves among the most asked about emerging technologies. As Web 2.0 becomes more prevalent in today’s tech savvy culture, instructors in higher education are increasingly turning to wikis to provide collaborative environments for their students.

Link: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~eisertd/FIT/FIT_Wiki_9-07.pdf

Seven Problems of Online Group Learning (and Their Solutions)

Seven Problems of Online Group Learning (and Their Solutions)
Tim S. Roberts and Joanne M. McInnerley

The benefits of online collaborative learning, sometimes referred to as CSCL (computer-supported collaborative learning) are compelling, but many instructors are loath to experiment with non-conventional methods of teaching and learning because of the perceived problems. This paper reviews the existing literature to present the seven most commonly reported such problems of online group learning, as identified by both researchers and practitioners, and offers practical solutions to each, in the hope that educators may be encouraged to “take the risk”.

Full PDF: http://www.ifets.info/journals/10_4/22.pdf
Link: http://www.ifets.info/abstract.php?art_id=810

Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs!

Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs! Oh, My! What Is a Faculty Member Supposed to Do?
Patricia McGee and Veronica Diaz

Kim ponders: What is a faculty member supposed to do? She concludes that if today’s ninth-graders are using the same technologies that her current students are using, there will be even newer technologies for her to learn about soon. Although that thought is daunting, she would rather actively participate in the decisions being made regarding the institutional selection and support of emerging technologies than scramble to catch up after a new initiative has been implemented. In her last e-mail of the day, she asks her department chair: “What can we do today to ensure that decisions about technologies represent what students and faculty need and what best supports teaching and learning?”

Full PDF: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0751.pdf
Link: http://www.educause.edu/library/erm0751