For the past two semesters, I’ve taught a course on Online Social Networks at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science. It has been a great experience, and I’ve had an incredible bunch of students. This course has also been an experiment, both in subject matter and instructional technologies. Using Facebook, Del.icio.us,YouTube and a wiki, we created courseware from Web 2.0 tools. Now that the course is over, I’ve had some time to reflect on the challenges, pros and cons of integrating these types of tools into instruction. Integrating Web 2.0 Technologies in the Instructional Process (download PDF) is an early manuscript documenting and reflecting on the process.
The manuscript is a case study of the integration; it combines a survey with analysis of some of the benefits, risks and challenges. I’ll be submitting the manuscript, but I wanted to post a draft here for other instructors. If you’re thinking about integrating Facebook into your course, or you’ve been paying attention to products like Blackboard Sync, this manuscript may be worth your time. This paper focuses on the contextual privacy issues of moving instruction into student spaces of sociality - a complex issue indeed.
I’m planning for two sections of LIS768 this fall. This draft article will be a great help in making sure I’m integrating the most useful technologies. Last semester I learned a lot about using del.icio.us to share/network — it didn’t work as well as I thought.
What did work were the student blogs. The occurrence of commenting and actual conversation was higher than it had ever been before. The caliber of posting was incredible.
I’m impressed as well with the high caliber of research coming out of the scholarly community around Web 2.0 and social networks.