Thursday, June 16, 2011

Facebook Doesn't Make you Dumb

Facebook is a tool that can be used for a multitude of purposes.  There's been talk about the link between Facebook and learning success.  I don't think the outcome is related to the tool but rather to the person using the tool.  Someone like me turns Facebook into a personal learning network machine.  New parents may turn it into a place to celebrate their new baby.  Social teens may use it for socializing.  The point being that Facebook doesn't turn people into "things" but rather it is a tool to suit the needs of the user. 

The following infographic does a nice job of explaining this as it relates to education. 

Facebook & Education.
Infographic by College


  1. I can't help but use that great stephen johnson quote on where good ideas come from, chance favours the connected mind.

  2. Can you post sources for the other studies quote in the "In Contrast" frame? It would be nice to check them out.

  3. Lisa, this infographic is cool, but you are linking to a very disreputable company. See Dan Meyer's argument against linking to for profit online college search engines.

  4. @David,
    1-I'm not seeing why a site that provides scholarship and loan info is disreputable.
    2-Dan says, "Online colleges don't care if students can succeed at their school or not. They profit either way." First, this isn't an online college and second, how is that different from a B&M college? It's not.

    I reviewed the content. I think it is thought-provoking and accurate. I think that they work hard to provide good content to attract folks to their site. That's good business. I don't see the problem.

  5. I like the fact you draw the analogy of Facebook being a tool. So are knives and guns and we don't allow those in schools either. Facebook just like a knife or a gun in the wrong hands is also dangerous. If people are properly trained then fine and sadly to many kids are out there playing unprotected.

  6. @Anonymous, I like your provocative comment as it brings up some important points and distinctions.

    Tool purpose. Facebook is a communication tool. Guns and knives are tools created to cause harm.

    What you should be comparing are pens, pencils, and speech to Facebook. These are all communication tools and we need to teach students to use them all responsibly. Of course, not allowing freedom of speech is certainly easier and more convenient, but it doesn't prepare our kids and that, after all, should be something that happens in learning spaces.

  7. @The Innovative Educator, you have a different view of knives and guns, to me they are tools. Guns to hunt, and provide food to feed and knives to prepare what you have provided.

    Now if a young person is not taught the proper way to use those tools then we have violence, same thing can be said for face book, now may bully incident's and in-turn has led to fights and in some cases suicides?

    Such as the following stories..

    I don't want you to think I'm against facebook, or other forms of communication, just the opposite, however with out the proper education of how to keep themselves safe and others it's a dangerous tool that can cause great harm.

    Freedom of speech is not the issue here, and if students are not allowed to access social network's or to use phones in school it is not a loss of that freedom.

  8. @anonymous, why on earth would we want a hunting (aka killing tool in school) and another tool to serve up what we killed? Guns are made to kill and/or injure. They have no other purpose.

    I read the articles you shared and I believe it all comes down to focusing on being responsible and decent human beings. When I was in high school a group of kids put together a newspaper which was distributed around school and beyond very much like the site you shared in one of your links which had derogatory information about students. No one would think of shutting down the journalism department or saying that students must stop writing. The behavior was addressed and the students received consequences which included losing scholarships.

    I disagree with you about freedom of speech. I do indeed believe that not empowering students to responsibly use 21st century communication tools is a violation of students freedom of speech and is also educational neglect.