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Peer Review

Social Networking in Plain English



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 30, 2009 by Faculty Development
Overview: This short video introduces a beginner to the web 2.0 tool social networking. It goes through benefits of using social networking and the steps one would need to take to start using one. Time-saving and humorous, this video is good for getting faculty interested in web 2.0 tools in general.
Type of Material: Lecture/presentation
Recommended Uses: One good use is as part of a workshop to faculty, where the video is shown and then the presenter discusses educational applications, as well as differences between various options. Another possible use is for self-development – anyone can use the tutorial on their own as an introduction. Can also be used by a teacher/professor who wants his/her students to use social networking as part of the class – so instead of the teacher introducing the concept, students can watch the video either alone at home, or together in class.
Technical Requirements: none
Identify Major Learning Goals: Introduces users to the concept and functionality of social networking in simple language. Shows benefits of social networking for career and social reasons, but not much beyond that. Shows abstract step-by-step instructions for using social bookmarking and provides a list of sites one could use.
Target Student Population: Anyone with interest in web 2.0 who wants to learn quickly but who does not have the time or inclination to work it out on their own by trial & error. Perfect for impressing faculty without taking up too much of their time. Especially helpful for those who teacher net generation students who are already so much into social networking
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Quickly and clearly highlights the benefits and explains how to use social networking. Can be used as a stand-alone training to introduce someone to social networking. Provides a list of possible sites to use other than the one use to get started.
Concerns: Does not seem to be intended for educators, and so does not directly link concepts to possible applications in academia or in the classroom. There are also a lot of issues one must take into consideration (privacy for example) before using something like this in class. Gives list of possible sites but does not explain how each is used (e.g. LinkedIn more professional, Facebook more for college ss/grads, MySpace slightly different again). Does not include all features of social networking (e.g. ability to find long-lost buddies; image and video sharing)

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Very innovative and engaging tutorial-like presentation, with audiovisuals and humor and a simple style that can attract faculty. Would be a lot more interesting to use in a workshop than standing and showing faculty how things are done, and definitely better than a handout.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Very easy to use.
Concerns: None