Facebook vs forums?


  • When students (or I) find a youtube video that we want to share with the group, this can be simply done directly from Youtube by clicking the “share” button under the video as it plays.
  • The group can be accessed easily using a mobile device… for example from the iPhone Facebook app (picture right).  On the other hand checking my discussion forum in Safari on an iPhone is nowhere near as elegant.
  • Videos and Podcasts on the Facebook group wall play right there in the wall… rather than simply being a link that leads you to another page.  It’s a better user experience.
  • When someone posts on the Facebook group wall, all the members of the group get a notification, and since many of them are in Facebook at the time anyway, they get it immediately!  (In contrast, my discussion forum can be set up to send email notifications… but many students don’t check their email very often.)



Howard Rheingold  posted this comment on the article in Facebook:

I require students to post in forums. Twice, when students have created Facebook groups for my social media class, the action there outstripped the action in the forums. The forum discussions were deeper, and older conversations did not disappear when they had not been updated for a few days, and it was easier to index a growing list of threads — students acknowledged that the forums had these superior affordances — but Facebook is where students live. I’m working with a developer to add Facebook features, most notably the badge that
indicates new activity, into the forum software. But I’m also going to create a parallel Facebook group and bounce between the group and the
forums and ask students to compare and contrast. In other words, I’m inclined to agree with this link: http://wp.me/pic58-ls

I am thinking we can’t avoid Facebook – and it is a way of paving the cow paths (desire paths) – the trouble is that the desire paths are a toll road. Sad.

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