The Economist is running an Oxford-style debate on the use of social networking in education entitled "Social Networking: does it bring positive change to education?". It is happening between 15th January and 28th January 2008.
This has encourages at lot of interesting views to be expressed around the topic. While much as focussed on pre-Higher Education students, there is also plenty that affects us. If you're interested start by reading:
-The Moderator Robert Cottrell's Opening Statement
-Ewan McIntosh's opening statement for the proposition that "This house believes that social networking technologies will bring large positive changes to educational methods, in and out of the classroom." He talks about the way that the technologies in question can be used to remove the restrictions of the classroom and to aid connections with the world outside.
-Michael Bugeja's opening statement for the opposition. He is concerned that technology is changing pedagogy and methods of teaching, rather than pedagogy defining the technology, as well as the resources required to implement these.
-Then move on to the comments and responses posted on blogs. Some of the responses talk about how the vaguely terms are being defined, and it does seem like the opening statements are referring in a very general way to web-based technologies in general and not addressing specific issues around social networking and networking sites.
A blog post well worth reading is