1. I'm probably the worst person to comment on this post, for as I've said before, I've never used Facebook and I don't even know what Foursquare is. I've seen postings of people being at a given place or being mayor of another place, but I don't really understand the "game" too much.

    That being said, my initial reaction is that Foursquare should not be used in an educational setting. While I know that there are many people under the age of 13 using Facebook, I also know that the legal age is 13, and I'm afraid that activities such as this one would encourage younger users to use Facebook. I'm also not convinced that these youngest users know how to use Facebook safely and get the most out of it for educational purposes. There are lots of wonderful ways to bring students from other classes together — including Skype, blogging (and blogging comments), Twitter, and Wallwisher to name just a handful — so I would be more in favour of using these tools instead. I guess that one could say I'm skeptical.

    I'm very interested in reading what others say though. Maybe I'll be convinced to see things in a new light. You've definitely got me thinking here, George. Thank you!


  2. Kelly Power

    Again this brings up the important factor that the electronic tool, software, or "app" is only as good as the teacher's pedagogy and implementation of its use. We must always ask ourselves: How will using this technology help support content delivery? How does the use of this technology pedagogically challenge or engage the students?

    I can appreciate the social networking strategy about bringing students together in a creative fashion and yes, I believe this would motivate most learners. But then once the students are grouped together, it is imperative to offer higher-level thinking activities that would challenge the learners to collaborate and learn together around related content or curriculum.

    I was very disappointed to read about the suggested assessment practices of giving students bonus points for tests and quizzes related to locating specific locations in Foursquare. In order to keep assessment practices authentic, they must be tied to student achievement of learning expectations in the curriculum. That would be equivalent to giving students bonus marks for putting their name on their test. Not an effective assessment practice.

    As educators, we must look for the pedagogically sound ways to integrate technology use into our lessons. In ways that will help our students become self-motivated learners, but still remain focused on the content and pedagogy of our programs as well.

  3. Ah, pop ed-tech at it's best. "I found a new tool and it's FUN so it MUST have educational implications!"

    I, too, am becoming skeptical of the "[number] ways to use [shiny new tech tool] to improve [educationally-related noun] in your classroom" articles.

    The tool has to have some legitimate, educational purpose…

    Cheers! Hope you're enjoying your trip!

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