Facebook as a study tool?!

By Anne Collier

Facebook doesn’t have to be just a distraction from homework, as so many parents see it. I’m not going on assumption, here; I just spoke with a number of Swiss secondary school students whose parents see it as exactly that, not to mention a lot of peers in my own country. Now there’s a study-session and teacher’s office hours tool for Facebook called Hoot.me, KQED’s Mindshift reports. “Like other Facebook apps, Hoot.me keeps you inside Facebook but moves you away from your wall and news feed. Instead of the typical Facebook prompt, ‘What’s on your mind?’ Hoot.me asks its users ‘What are you working on?’ From there, students can join the live study sessions on that topic.” It has features such as group video-conferencing (for when Facebook supports that) and “smart chat,” which allows students “to type mathematical formulas in English, which are then automatically translated into mathematical notation. A screen-sharing option is coming soon, too.” If you’re looking for answers shared in the past, Hoot.me allows students to search archives. Teachers can hold private or group “virtual office hours” for when students aren’t getting enough help from peers, and Hoot.me will soon be adding private tutoring, for which it’ll charge a fee. [See also “Teachers Encourage Students to Log On and Get Connected with Social Media” at BlogWorld.]

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