Monday, 12 November 2007

Scrabulous anyone?

I'm in my sick-bed reading the Guardian and happening upon this article on Facebook. I heard a 50-something businessman chuntering on about social networking without a shred of understanding on 5Live business a few weeks ago.

The section that most caught my attention was:
"Cary Cooper, a professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, said that managers should be realistic. "Britain has some of the longest working hours in the developed world. Employers have created this culture. It is natural for people to have to use work computers for organising their personal life." Social networking has boomed over the past 12 months. Facebook alone now has more than 5 million regular users in the UK."

Perhaps this is just the meshing of work and social life. Or simply that "life" cannot be demarcated between personal, work and other. The technologies that empower each area of a life would support that. However, we still have that JISC evidence that suggests students do not want academic life impinging upon social networking...

1 comment:

Suki said...

I think there is some meat in the argument of 'academic life impinging upon social networking'-So, as we all know our working culture is now a networked one and we can take advantage of it by connecting, collaborating with others, not just for work but as consumers; conducting business, personal blogs and educationally have been reaching out to our students with it. Now here comes the BUT, and my psychology! As human nature we have a tendency to categorise things - that's how we organise our lives - work, family and social - if we drill down further into these categorise you will find we have a tendency to group things so that we can make sense of these things. We may not be doing this consciously but it's how we 'operate' or make sense of areas in life. This 'meshing' of work and social could be a mental barrier that for a student just does not blend - as the whole experience (19-21 year olds) of higher education is about working hard and playing hard. Having these equated together may not go down so well from the student view. I think we need to identify the types of learner and tasks where we can take advantage of SNS, distance learners; placement students etc.
What concerns me is 'using for the sake of using' - there has to be real benefit for the user. When we make an investment (and that includes our 'time') we like to see an outcome (we could call this 'learning experience'). If no outcome is perceived and the reason for using (not setting clear objectives especially in an educational context' we may find that the task wasn’t really of any use and a 'waste' of time. So as with anything - the tool is as good as you make use of it but it needs to be put into context (task related)- otherwise ' what's the point!?!?'