Food for Thought – Social Networking and Education

We’d like to introduce a new item on DishingDesign called Food for Thought. These are topics that we find intriguing enough to bring to you, our readers, and would enjoy letting you all weigh in on them.

The Food
Recently read on The Facebook Blog was the following excerpt from a post by Mark Zuckerberg on the Updates on Terms (of Use): “More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world.”

[We found the statistic so significant we couldn’t help but bold it!]

The Thought(s)
With this many users what is the potential of social networking for the future? We’ve all ready seen trends in companies using it to recruit and build company and brand awareness. But can it be used for educating?

  • Will social networking ever reach a point where we can leverage its power for learning?
  • If you answer yes, what forms/types of learning? For example, soft skills, morals and/or values, or processes.
  • In addition, if you answer yes, what impact will this new method of sharing/providing learning have on an individual? On their network? On social networking?
  • If you answer no, why? Is it because social networks and education, to a certain level is like a parent relying on a school system to raise their child? OR because social networks are truly just meant for more simple levels of cognition? For example, Johnny just realized he can connect to a lot of his former friends from high school. Or Mary learned that having a private view of her profile would be prudent due to her mix of professional and personal contacts?

What are you thoughts on this rather meaty topic of social networking and education?