Nursing Education 2.0: Poke Me. Where’s Your Face in Space?(…

Nursing Education 2.0: Poke Me. Where's Your Face in Space?(...

MICHELLE SLATALLA IS A WRITER FOR “CYBERFAMILIAS,” a biweekly column in the New York Times about the changing landscape of family life under the influence of the net. In a recent column, “omg [oh my God] my mom joined facebook!!” she told how she, a mother, signed up on Facebook to learn more about the phenomenon of social networking. Her daughter, needless to say, thought it was “creepy” to have adults, especially her mother, on Facebook. * The writer tells of her conversation with Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University whose research focuses on social networks. Wesch essentially “pointed out that there are a number of other social networks–sober, grown-up places like Linkedin.com (for making business contacts) and Care2.com (for social activists) and Webbiographies.com (for amateur genealogists)–where I could cavort without offending my daughter” (1). After reading this column, I decided it was time for me to explore how some of these popular social networking tools can be used in higher education. * This is the third in a series of articles about Web 2.0 tools and their potential for transforming nursing education. According to a Horizon 2007 report, the time-to-adoption for social networking tools is one year or less (2, p. 12). So, unless you are retiring this upcoming academic year, you too may want to learn more about possible uses for social networking tools in your academic community. What Are Social Networking Tools? According to the Pew Internet American Life Project study on social networking and teens, “a social networking site is an online location where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users” (3, p. 2). Social networking is one of the most pervasive Web 2.0 tools available. “It is all about making connections and participating in online communities. These connections allow people with similar interests, profiles or other commonalities to share ideas and get connected … the website knows who the user’s friends are, may even know people that the user would like to meet or things the user likes to do” (2, p. 12).

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