Thursday, January 24, 2008

Social networking debate

Thanks to Gerry McKiernan for highlighting an "Oxford Style" debate on the Economist website that ends on the 25th January. The proposition is that "Social Networking technologies will bring large [positive] changes to educational method, in and out of the classroom".
There is a proposer, an opposer and a moderator who have each made 2 statements, and others are encouraged to assume psudonyms and join in the debate. The website is at
Skimming, I notice a comment from Postcolonialtech "Yes, internet information may be untrustable. But in fact all information may be untrustable. I cannot say that I find more mis-information (as a percentage) on-line than I find on the shelves of any American Barnes & Noble. The New York Times gets things very wrong. So do textbooks. We either teach students to analyze information from whatever source or we leave then unarmed in the world." which latter statement is picked up enthusiatically by another commentator (of course, they could both be librarians) Postcolonialtech finishes one of his/her comments "My suggestion? If you are university professor, copy this entire debate. Let your students divide up the transcript - analysing claims, positions, strategies, rhetoric, etc. You may begin to show them the dynamics of SNS learning." [SNS = Social Networking .... something?]
Photo by Sheila Webber: a landscape I created in Second Life

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