Friday, March 13, 2009
The Power of Facebook?
I read an article by Ryan Bretag yesterday from the Tech & Learning blog entitled "Adult Invasion Equals Change of Hangout?" In it, Ryan says that Facebook, which started out as a college only crowd social network, is being taken over by adults. He ponders, with a glimpse back into his own childhood, how long it will be before kids find a new place to hang out. One stat that he quoted from Inside Facebook was that the fastest growing population to join Facebook is women over the age of 55 - up 175.3% over the last 120 days. That got me to thinking: Is Facebook just what technology proponents needed? Will Facebook show those teachers who are not digital natives how easy technology is to use today and give them the confidence they need to start using Web 2.0 tools in their classroom? My personal feeling is that Facebook is 100 times easier to use (read between the lines: basic) than MySpace. It doesn't seemed designed for the teenage crowd like I feel MySpace is. I use Facebook for personal use, not professional, but I'm seeing more and more of my colleagues on Facebook. This isn't a discussion on whether or not these tools should be used in school. My question is will this speed up the integration of technology in our classrooms? Because of the ease of use, do you think we will no longer have to wait for the "old teachers" to retire and bring in the "new blood?" I would love to hear your thoughts.