Friday, September 29, 2006

MySpace for Education??

There has been a lot of noise on the airwaves lately about MySpace
and its downside. There have been heated debates about whether
teachers should create MySpace sites and invite students as
"friends". A search on Google for "MySpace and Education" will
take you into the thick of it!

However, can educators afford to ignore MySpace?

Chris, from the Dearborn Public School, explains the issue:

Students are moving beyond our current website and webpages.
They are into social networking. While most schools are just
getting websites, students are into myspace and collaborating
online in ways we just can’t imagine. Whether good or bad,
social networking on the internet is how students communicate.

Here are some facts provided in
The Myspace Marketing System ebook (sells for $27 US):

  • MySpace receives 2.5 times the traffic of Google
  • 230,000 new users join everyday
  • MySpace is the number 1 site for viewing videos online
  • Myspace is the number 1 referrer of traffic to Google
  • MySpace accounts for 80% of all visits to online social networks
  • there are 105Million members signed up to MySpace
(This explains why Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for $580Million
in July 2005!)

Contrary to popular belief, 52% of MySpace users are over 35.

Chris, from Dearborn Public School, has the dream to create an
Online Community for his school (parents, teachers and children)
that mirrors MySpace with its combination of
social networking, blogging, RSS, video and podcasting.

He explains this vision here:

I gather from his blog postings that he has struck some difficulties
but the vision will become reality somewhere soon.

The Brisbane City Council, for example, currently provides
resources (websites, interactive databases and online learning)
to enable the formation of online communities under its
Brisbane Communities Online

The challenge still exists though:
How are educators going to respond to MySpace?

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