The Course Profiles application for Facebook has been praised in a report by Childnet International and funded by Becta, the UK Government body for learning technology. The report's author, Josie Fraser left a message on the forum for Course Profiles to let us know: "I'm delighted to let you know that Course Profiles has been featured in Childnet's Young People and Social Networking Services report ... thank you for providing such a great example". The report covers the use of social networking services by children and young people in education and coverage of its contents (including a link to the full report) can be found on Josie Fraser's blog.
The application is mentioned in the report itself and also on http://www.digizen.org/socialnetworking/ideas.aspx (under Profile-based social network services) as a "a good example of how providers can create their own applications or widgets to provide students with useful services on the social networking services that they are already using". The report goes on to state that "it also offers a starting point for thinking about learner-centered e-portfolios, and how providers could support learners to record and demonstrate their achievement in non-institutional online environments". The report also got coverage from The Telegraph and The Guardian.
Course Profiles has been covered quite a lot in this blog as I am proud to say that I was part of the team that developed it, along with Tony Hirst, Martin Weller and Stuart Brown. It is nice to get coverage in this way and a report produced that recognises the benefits that can come from using social networking services. We have certainly come a long way since the press were claiming that students did not want universities to be active in this area. Hopefully more educational institutions will become active in this area now and social networking services recognised as something that can bring benefits to staff and students alike.