An Education in Facebook?: Higher Education and the World's Largest Social Network

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Mike Kent, Tama Leaver
Routledge, Jul 11, 2014 - Education - 250 pages
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An Education in Facebook? examines and critiques the role of Facebook in the evolving landscape of higher education. At times a mandated part of classroom use, at others an informal network for students, Facebook has become an inevitable component of college life, acting alternately as an advertising, recruitment and learning tool. But what happens when educators use a corporate product, which exists outside of the control of universities, to educate students?

An Education in Facebook? provides a broad discussion of the issues educators are already facing on college campuses worldwide, particularly in areas such as privacy, copyright and social media etiquette. By examining current uses of Facebook in university settings, this book offers both a thorough analytical critique as well as practical advice for educators and administrators looking to find ways to thoughtfully integrate Facebook and other digital communication tools into their classrooms and campuses.


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Mike Kent and Tama Leaver have compiled a series of useful articles about the role that Facebook plays in modern higher education. The themes explored by this collection of essays attempts to explore and discuss some of the key issues between the actors within higher education and the network itself.
In the "Transitions" section of the book, the chapters focus on the communities created within Facebook by the students and how others within higher education can help those first year students adapt to college life. In the "Facebook in Learning and Teaching" section, the chapters show great examples of how Facebook acts as an aid to the education process and can supplement the other tools of pedagogy. The "Learning Management System" section compares and contrasts Facebook to the main learning management systems used by colleges and universities (i.e. Blackboard) and provides some good analysis to what role Facebook can play in the meta of these systems. Chapter 11 ("Rethinking Community?: Facebook as a Learning Backchannel"), for example, provided some context in the nature of communication among students within higher education, especially discussing the digital literacies present within the users of Facebook.
The remaining sections ("Facebook at College," "Boundaries & Privacy" & "(Re)Configuring Facebook") do a great job of exploring and putting into the proper context the social networks present on Facebook and within the everyday interactions of students, faculty and staff within a given university.
This work is recommend for anybody doing research on the relationships between Facebook and the actors within higher education.


The Revolution Thats Already Happening
Facebook at College
Challenges and Opportunities in Using Facebook to Build a Community
We Use Facebook Chat in Lectures of Course Exploring the Use of
Facebook as a Student Development Tool
Psychosocial Engagement on Facebook and its Implications
Whats on Your Mind? Facebook as a Forum for Learning and Teaching
Mutual Surveillance and a Sense of Belonging
Facebook Student Engagement and the Uni Coffee Shop Group
and Network Building by Media Studies Students on Facebook
Should We Be Friends? The Question of Facebook in Academic Libraries
Unfriending Facebook? Challenges From an Educators Perspective
Role Confusion in Facebook Groups
Varying Cultural Conceptions of the Private Sphere and Their Impact on
Changing Facebooks Architecture

Social Etiquette Social Media and Higher Education
Exploring Facebook Groups Potential as TeachingLearning Environment
How Social Should Learning Be? Facebook as a Learning Management System
Case Study
Rethinking Community? Facebook as a Learning Backchannel
Accessing the Digital Campus
Facebook Fatigue? A Universitys Quest to Build Lifelong Relationships With
Understanding the Social Media Ecologies of Employees Within Higher

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About the author (2014)

Mike Kent is a senior lecturer in Internet Studies at Curtin University, where his research focuses on disability and the internet.

Tama Leaver is a lecturer in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. He is also a research fellow in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation working in Curtin’s Centre for Culture and Technology.

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