There have, of course, been studies about the effects of the Internet, Facebook, and other online applications. Some have found that we are suffering negative effects (see, for example, the previous blog post “Has your brain been Googled?“). But one of my iGoogle science widgets informed me about a forthcoming article in International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations reporting on research suggesting “that students’ online social networking directly influences social learning and can positively influence academic learning.” Students surveyed about their use of Facebook “reported that Facebook allowed them to connect with the faculty and other students in term of friendship/social relationship, provide comments to peers/share knowledge, share feelings with peers, join Groups established for subjects, collaboration: notification, discussion, course schedule, project management calendar and to use educational applications for organizing learning activities.”
Would you like to learn more? Search the Library’s article databases to find articles such as “Lolita, Facebook, and the third space of literacy teacher education” (Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, Jan. 2010, vol.46:no.1, pp.67-84), which describes preservice teachers creating a Facebook profile for the main character of a novel; “Students’ and teachers’ use of Facebook” (Computers in Human Behavior, Mar. 2011, vol.27:no.2, pp.662-676), which reviews “current published research studies focusing on the use of Facebook by students and teachers;” and “Modeling educational usage of Facebook” (Computers & Education, Sept. 2010, vol.55:no.2, pp444-453). Search HALCAT, Harold Andersen Library’s catalog, for books such as Social networking> (3rd-floor Main Collection, HM742 .S629 2011), which includes a chapter on “IV. Tweeting is fundamental : Social media in the schools.”
Please ask a librarian for assistance with finding materials.