I believe/hope that the recently published front page article will be of
interest to those who have considered the use of online social networks
Des Moines Register / February 17, 2009 / A New Tool For Students:
Educational Networking / GUNNAR OLSON /
Ames, Ia. - Iowa State University sophomore Lauren Egerton can compare
notes with fellow education majors or study their flashcards with a few
clicks on her computer. She simply goes online to a social networking
site geared toward studying, such as StudyBlue or Flashcard
Exchange."It's at your convenience. It's on your own time. You don't
have to coordinate with anyone else's schedules," said Egerton, 19, of
Iowa City. "It's just a smarter way to study."
Online social networking, made popular across the country and around the
globe in recent years by sites such as MySpace and Facebook, is no
longer the exclusive territory of teenage romances and family pictures.
"You name it, and it seems as though a niche network has been created,
and if it hasn't, it will be in the very near future," said Gerry
McKiernan, an ISU librarian who blogs and lectures nationally on the
McKiernan called use of the sites a shift away from the "sage on the
stage." "The students themselves are creating a learning community," he
said. "In a very real sense, I believe they're reinventing the
educational process."More students and faculty in Iowa are using such
sites. For example, today there are about 40,000 members of ISU's
Facebook group, nearly double the 22,000 members three years ago.
And more of them are using such sites as tools for learning, as
evidenced by the recent success of StudyBlue.com.
"We really built our tool from the bottom up, with the idea of students
growing the tool," company spokesman Ben Jedd said. He said about 5,000
students at Iowa universities use the site. Students at the University
of Iowa, one of the company's test locations, are among the site's top
10 users. At Iowa State, the number of users doubled last semester to
about 1,000, he said.
Links to the article full text and associated web addresses are
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University Library
Ames IA 50011
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