If you aren't aware of the power of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social neworking sites in the process of teaching and learning, you ought to get up to speed, my friend!
To get a taste of the variety of uses of social networks in education, visit Social Networks in Education.
Such networks can be used to link groups of educators, or groups of students, or both. The network could be as small as one classroom and as large as the world!
A few years ago, The National School Boards Association (NSBA) published a report on the use of social networks by students. It is called Creating and Connecting. Geetha Krishnan wrote a nice blog post highlighting some of the findings of the report at Social Networking in Education. When you look at the content, you see that nearly all of it applies to college teaching and learning as well as the pre-college situations studied in the report.
The long and short of it is that students are already using existing social networks to tutor each other, collaborate on projects, share study tips, and more. We as educators should be able to see opportunities to become involved in facilitating such interactions.
If you want to establish a presence in an existing social network, perhaps even creating a specific "group" within such a network, then try the most popular ones used by college students:
If you want to start your own social network for your teaching discipline, your faculty, your college, or your own students, check out these tools:
[If you engage in any social networking yourself, be aware that any posting or information that can be viewed by the "public" will also be visible to your students and peers. Postings limited to your "friends" will also possibly be visible to any students that you accepts as "friends" in the network. Any "private" messages should be done using the "private" message tools in each network, to avoid possible embarassment to you or the recipient.]
Image by LuMaxArt at flickr.com