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Myspace In The Classroom: Classroom Note Taking Collaboration Via A Social Networking Model

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1093.1 - 12.1093.12

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Paper Authors

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Jeff Ringenberg University of Michigan

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David Chesney University of Michigan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

mySpace in the Classroom: Classroom Note Taking Collaboration Via a Social Networking Model


With the recent surge in next-generation internet technologies becoming available to both students and instructors, it is undeniable that technology will soon become an integral part of everyday classroom life. Social networking sites, instant messaging programs, and online collaboration tools may be beneficial to student learning provided that they are utilized properly. However, if these technologies are used inappropriately, they can severely hinder the effectiveness of a lecture. Therefore, it is important that these tools are studied in a suitable context in order to understand how they can be used properly in the classroom.

Considering this need to study the impact of emerging internet technologies on learning, this paper will explore how social networking and online collaboration tools can be used to both strengthen note-taking skills and also provide instructors with feedback regarding the effectiveness of their teaching. To do this, we have made use of two free, online applications, mynoteIT1 and Gliffy2, that provide a framework for students to publish online notes for each of their classes, to share their notes with their classmates, and to make comments on each other’s notes. Using these applications, students are able to create a powerful learning toolset accessible from any computer that has a capable web browser.

Our results have shown that there is a great deal of potential in using these tools, however, much care must be taken for them to be used effectively. In particular, we tested the usefulness of the tools with respect to collaborative note taking and exposed several strengths and weaknesses. We also observed that social networking effects and behaviors can impact the way that students take notes. Finally, we discovered that it is possible to use the tools to help prepare more effective lecture material based on the notes that were taken.

1.0 Introduction

Students of the 21st century are spending ever increasing amounts of their time and lives online. One of the main reasons is there are rapidly increasing numbers of opportunities for them to interact with each other in online social environments. From Webkinz3 to wikis, children are being introduced to social networking sites such as mySpace4 at a very early age, and personal safety concerns aside, this style of interaction will be present in the classroom.

Another set of technologies that is changing the way that students work is the increasing availability of free, web-based utilities. Applications such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets5 enable students who have access to an internet connection and a web browser to do work from anywhere and store their documents remotely. This allows them to transition from school to home and not have to worry about losing their work or remembering to take it with them. They simply log on to the application and their work is in the same state that they previously left it.

Ringenberg, J., & Chesney, D. (2007, June), Myspace In The Classroom: Classroom Note Taking Collaboration Via A Social Networking Model Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.

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