Facebook Apps for Ed: Teach the People
Now that I’ve finally been caught in the web-within-the-web social network of Facebook , tried poring over the applications if there’s anything on e-learning. A quick scan shows FB applications such as Study Groups (whose developers look like teenyboppers to me!) ,created by the members themselves.
Then there’s Teach the People. As reported by Crunch Base, the application lets anyone with specific subject knowledge or a useful skill set share it by setting up a Teach the People learning communities with 1gig of free storage. So if you have a burning question on a topic of interest, you can inquire from the bigger virtual community. With people coming from different countries, backgrounds and influences but brought together by a passion for a single cause, diversity should breed innovation and real learning.
But as an FB user for less than 45 days, I feel that FB works best if you leverage the power of the exisiting, face-to-face network and continue the conversation thru FB. There are definitely a thousand and one tools to enrich conversations, engage learning with those cute applications, personalize the experience with so many synchronous communication tools. It would be a challenge for the online community developer to try to elicit conversation between members with weak links/social ties to engage them to interact, or if they are from different cultures and countries!
The FB experience thrives on nostalgia and memory-flooding, as evidenced by the flashbacking exchanges of alumni members. What keeps them hooked is the surprise element of finding someone you haven’t seen in 20 years, then reliving memories. It’s definitely addictive at times, but sometimes to the point of being irritating if people feel comfy enough to send you unsolicited information, poke you virtually, or invite you to some cause of theirs in the middle of trying to nudge some learning in the process.
Teach the People already received a cool USD25,000 for being one of the top 25 finalists, besting 600 other applications developers.