Bryan Sinclair writes at EDUCAUSE Quarterly:
With the rise of Web 2.0 and social software we are witnessing a major shift in the ways students approach and use information. They no longer merely consume and download information; increasingly, they create and participate in it. They are social creatures in every way that past generations were and in some new ways, sharing information digitally and using each other as sounding boards. They value social experiences that blend communication and learning.
Social software in the form of blogs, wikis, MySpace, Flickr, and YouTube is merely an extension of this socialization in a wired culture. The software, spaces, and instruction provided to today’s students should encourage them to become well-equipped participants in an online global community, skilled in written and visual communication and critical thinking. We can provide innovative spaces and facilities, but ultimately the instruction we provide is key to creating ethical and effective online citizens.
Read the whole article. It’s spot on for your discussions about designing spaces and places for our users.