Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube: Social Networking Can Be Educational!

(Or, at least, can have a place in higher education)

Presented by Marianne Hebert and Jenica Rogers-Urbanek
SUNY Potsdam IT Fair

January 19, 2007

What is Social Networking?

Social networking is the emerging practice of connecting with other users online via Social Software.
  • Wikipedia definition: Social Software

    Academia is beginning to explore social networking:
  • Graduate student Group Presentation: Social Bookmarking Tagging, Folksonomies
  • Bibliography of peer-reviewed publications on social networking, compiled by danah boyd
  • Call for Reviews for an upcoming issue of the journal Currents in Electronic Literacy
  • e-learning 2.0 - how Web technologies are shaping education, from the Read/Write Web blog.
  • Social software in education, An article from VISION (Issue 3) - Futurelab's bi-annual magazine
  • We-Learning: Social Software and E-Learning, from ASTD's Learning Circuits
  • A Wider World: Youth, Privacy, and Social Networking Technologies, Educause article that covers ownership, policy and legal issues regarding the use of social networking (primarily Facebook) by college students.
  • 7 Things You Should Know About Facebook, Educause article that explains the basics about Facebook and highlights the role of information literacy in teaching students to be responsible on-line citizens
  • The Many Faces of Facebook, Educause article that looks at what's good and bad about Facebook, and with suggestions for faculty and administrators who may want to ignore or take action on student's indiscretions.

    Connecting People

    The explosively popular face of social networking

    Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you. Highschools and College communities
    Myspace is an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos. MySpace also has a "rate your professors" feature.
    Friendster aims to make the world a smaller place by bringing the power of social networking to every aspect of life, one friend at a time.
    orkut is Google's online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends
    Ratemyprofessors.com: What are our Potsdam students telling each other about Potsdam faculty?
    Skype: Telephone over the internet (Peer-to-peer Voice over IP (VoIP) network). Free and paid options. Pricing structure changed in Jan. 2007.

    Writing with an audience

    Information exchange used to be a read-only experience, but in the age of the internet, it's become a read-write experience -- for anyone with an internet connection.


    Email: Most traditional form of social networking. Widely adopted, but being abandoned by the next generation of internet users. For more information, see the Pew Internet & American Life report, "Generations Online" (.pdf file)
    Instant messaging: The next major communications mode. AOL Instant Messenger (aka IM), Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger. SUNY Potsdam's chat reference service: Chat with a Librarian
    Wikis: Communal content creation and editing. Wikipedia is the most well known example, See Wikipedia's List of Wikis for more examples.
    Blogs and journals: Self-publishing, often with interactive elements. LiveJournal, Blogger, Xanga, Myspace

    Tagging, folksonomies, and social citation sharing

    What is? Link tagging, photo tagging, book tagging -- users add descriptive natural-language 'tags' to digital objects, which other users can search to find new information.

    Photo originally uploaded to Flickr by Cambodia4Kidsorg

    Technorati: "Who's saying what. Right now." Blog posts and internet news, tagged by the author and searchable by anyone.
    LibraryThing: A web application for storing and sharing personal library catalogs and book lists
    Amazon tags: Customers have begun tagging books with their own 'subject headings'. See Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything for an example.
    del.icio.us: del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website -- the primary use of del.icio.us is to store your bookmarks online and use tags to organize and remember sites. Share your citations, or see what your friends and colleagues are reading. Jenica's links re: libraries.
    Furl: "Furl saves a personal copy of any page on the Web and lets you to find it again instantly, from any computer. Share the sites you find, and discover useful new sites."
    CiteULike allows the user to post a citation for an article found on the internet and join groups to share citations

    Tagging and photo- and videosharing

    Flickr: Upload, search, tag, and share photos online. The College Libraries have a Flickr account
    YouTube: Upload, search, tag, and share videos on the web. Proof there's useful stuff on YouTube: short videos that might could find a place in the classroom, compiled by Jenica on 1/5/2007
    Digg: "A user driven social content website." Registered users can create links to and annotate multimedia resources on other sites such as YouTube. Users can promote (digg) videos, podcasts and news. You don't need to be a registered user to search and display the content.
    Google Video: Similar to other video sharing sites. Best source for educational videos (search: genre:educational)

    Compiled and presented by Marianne Hebert and Jenica Rogers-Urbanek, 1/19/2007.