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"One advantage that facebook has over blackboard is that facebook is so much more interactive than blackboard. Blackboard is just what the name suggests, a place where information is put up. On facebook you can comment, share, add in your own ideas which makes learning more dynamic and more interesting"
Alan Cann's profile photoNatalie Lafferty's profile photoAnne Marie Cunningham's profile photoBob Calder's profile photo
Of course, it would be possible to set up Bb so that it has all the functionality of facebook. But that's not what this is about - ownership. Students choosing their own tools rather than being commanded. And that makes all the difference.
Ok- I think I am going to have to add a few additional questions to my own post!
Moodle works just fine for it but I think the problem has more to do with trust and confort than platform. When I used Blackboard I got the feeling that Big Brother was watching. You can have Blackboard customized but it announces to the world that you don't trust your own staff to do simple things.

G+ will be better because you can create a circle, turn it on, turn it off.
Which is what I was trying to say about ownership and control, rather than being controlled.
+A.J. Cann Control is exactly it: I can't speak to Blackboard, but in the version of Desire2Learn we use, students don't have a "page" that is theirs (the so-called page is a horrifying joke, not something anyone could or would ever use for any purpose at all - and no one ever does; the majority of students don't even bother to upload avatar photos even though that is now an option, because it is so meaningless and useless to even pretend your presence matters as an individual). One of the things I like best about using a Ning (which I use instead of Desire2Learn for student blogging and interaction) is that the students' profile pages are the anchors of the whole system, with a comment wall (very much like Facebook). Each person has their own place, students communicate with each other via the comment walls, and the system promotes that person-to-person communication - you leave a comment on someone's comment wall and there is a link right here to "comment back" - etc. Small design things that reveal very clearly just what is supposed to be going on. The Ning belongs to the students and it thrives as their space.
There is NOTHING learner-centric in that way about Desire2Learn.
Even if did students have their own pages, would they want to use their "Dad's VLE" ?
Well, schooling itself happens under duress - my point is that when you choose what tools to use for school, you get to choose tools that give students more freedom, or tools that give them less freedom... within that duress.
The ads at Facebook are what have me using Ning. I find the Facebook ads horrifying (all those people's teeth and gumlines, the jiggling bellies, the Impeach Obama ads, the loan refinancing... oh my gosh).
And Facebook is not just a kids thing after all - shock horror, for students nowadays their parents are also Facebook veterans too. :-)
Gosh, the only ads I get at facebook show kittens...
Um . . . Ad Block anyone?
+A.J. Cann I never got kittens! :-)
+Bob Calder Lots of my students do their work in computers labs and/or on other people's computers (where it is difficult and/or impossible to configure things, install software, etc.). Ad Block could be a solution for me if I wanted to use Facebook, but it's not a viable solution for teaching.
+Laura Gibbs Every rational person in the world should have Ad Block. I realize that leaves out quite a few. Thank goodness I don't have to support them.
I agree with Cristina. Allow facebook to be a student owned space. if you want to set up groups to support learning, do it elsewhere.
I agree with Alan, students see Facebook as their space. In our institutional student elearning survey last year there was a 50-50 split bewteen students wanting the university to use Facebook to support teaching and those that didn't. Each of our year groups have their own page and many of the small groups have their own FB groups but it's very much their space.
You can't even edit a post in Blackboard. It's the worst feature ever.
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