Quick Musing 22Sept11
Posted by togalearning
With the redesign of Facebook’s user interface, a lot of resistance to and unhappiness with the changes are popping up among many of the 750 million + users. At first, I was slightly annoyed with the changes, especially in the privacy settings area, but then I started to think about some of the key characteristics we are trying to build in our students to be successful in today’s world: flexibility and adaptability. Even though adapting to the changes a social network throws at us isn’t necessarily the adaptability we’re trying to build in students, I still feel it’s a relevant, cognitive practicing of that process. In my opinion, we as 21st century educators and users of these tools need to model these characteristics of flexibility and adaptability when changes like this occur and not wish for the “old way” or “old version.” This is similar as to why were trying to transform education today- to move away from the old way of doing things created by the old industrial age version of education.
I think before rushing to judgement, we need to understand the purpose of the Facebook changes. This article summed up the current and upcoming changes nicely: What all these features have aspired to do is make it easier for users to spend long periods of time on the site by lowering the barriers to connecting with friends in real-time and delivering more tailored content. Now this isn’t a bad thing. Once the whole change process finishes and we adapt to the new features and layout, it seems like we’ll all be more happy users. As with all previous changes, most of us adapted and became proficient users of the new features.
I don’t know if Facebook has this as part of it redesign ethos, but giving us these frequent opportunities to practice flexibility and adaptability is a good thing.