Steve Hargadon makes six valid points when it come to social networking. I would like to comment on two of these. Hargadon’s points that I want to discuss are “you really don’t know what social networking sites you create will take off of succeed” and a network must fulfill some compelling need(s).”
The first one I would like to discuss is must fulfill some need. As with any new concept or idea for people to want to use it must fulfill a need. The social networking site is no different. The major question that I would have is why would I want to use this? As an educator I can think of many needs that would be fulfilled. It is a ready source for finding missed assignments, a place to discuss points in an impersonal manner and a link to the World Wide Web making research much easier. But how does it fulfill the needs of the student. In some ways it fulfills the same needs as the teacher, but is that enough? How can you really know if you have met their needs?
Which brings us to the second point how do you know if your site will succeed? You really don’t know what will succeed or not but in a society where “failure is free” it does not hurt to try it out. Like the old adage nothing ventured, nothing gained. The same holds true for the use of social networks in the classroom. How do you know what will succeed? Does a teacher invest the time to attempt a network that may or may not fulfill the needs of his/her students? The only way to find out whether or not it will work is to try it. The teacher must think of this way if it fails no biggie, but if it succeeds then it was well worth the trouble.
A good teacher finds the common denominator between his class and the information and learning objectives he wants to project. When it comes to web 2.0 and social networking sites more questions seem to be asked than answered, but if the heart is in it, go for it because you never know what will succeed.
8 years ago