Do you like this? Engaging learners with Facebook

No matter how much you deny it, Facebook is more interesting than learning as far as many students are concerned.  However, we could spice things up a little by mixing the social world of Facebook with the educational content by using some of the new plugins available from the social networking giant. 

Mark Zuckerberg launched a number of new ways to integrate your site with Facebook at the F8 conference including the ability to place the Like {thumbs up!} button on your site. This would then show up in the Activity Feed on the user’s Facebook page. 

Imagine a situation where a student enjoys a piece of learning content on your VLE and clicks the Like button.  This appears in their Facebook friend’s news feed and they click on it and learn something new.  This could be a new world where social networking and education intermingle!

How do you start using this TODAY?

It’s easy to use.  

1. Just copy the code below and paste it into the page where you want the Like button to appear.

<iframe src=”http://www.facebook.com/widgets/like.php?href=http://example.com” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”></iframe>

2. Change the http://example.com to be the web page address.

3. Hit save and you’re done!

If you are putting this on your blog you can usually modify the template to dynamically generate Step 2.  I use tumblr so the code for me is …

<iframe src=”http://www.facebook.com/widgets/like.php?href={Permalink}” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”></iframe>

The fly in the ointment

The problem with this is that you would not be able to click the Like button anywhere where Facebook is blocked … but it does allow students to engage from home.  This will also require that we start to reexamine the place of social networks in schools.

There are a range of configuration options to fine tune how the button appears on your site.  For more information visit http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Do you like this?  Make sure you click the Like button below!

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