A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Beanbag learning
Previous entry: "Did you just read that?"
Wednesday June 25 2008

More on the computers-educational-or-mind-destroyers-or-what? front.  Linked to at Samizdata by Adriana, this:

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace have reputations as time-sucking procrastination tools, but a new study from the University of Minnesota says au contraire.

Social networks build beneficial technological, creative, and communication skills, the study says, leading the researchers to actually describe social networks with the adjective “educational.” Who knew?

“What we found was that students using social networking sites are actually practicing the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop to be successful today,” Christine Greenhow, a learning technologies researcher from the school’s College of Education and Human Development, said in a release Friday.

Data from the study came from teenagers ages 16 to 18 in about a dozen urban high schools in the Midwest.

“Students are developing a positive attitude towards using technology systems, editing and customizing content and thinking about online design and layout,” Greenhow continued. “They’re also sharing creative original work like poetry and film and practicing safe and responsible use of information and technology.”

Yes.  The main thing you learn from using computers is how to use computers, and that’s got to be worth learning.

The debate continues.