Facebook Places: Marketing tool or educational asset?

UK's Facebook Places ad campaign guides students to an educational web site.
UK's Facebook Places ad campaign guides students to an educational web site.

The University of Kentucky, if all goes according to the campus’s marketing plan, could pop up in 1.3 million Facebook news feeds during the fall semester—and students might just learn something about maintaining online privacy in the process.

The Lexington, Ky., university placed six-foot wooden Facebook Places logos in six campus locations with the heaviest foot traffic to encourage students to “check in” using Facebook’s geo-tagging application, which lets users show friends where they are—the campus library, for instance.

Places, which is similar to geo-tagging services Yelp, Gowalla, Booyah, and Foursquare, launched in August and drew skeptical reviews from many in higher education. Facebook users must opt into Places before the application displays the person’s location.…Read More

University of Kentucky launches instructional innovation lab

The University of Kentucky is launching a new laboratory to develop innovative ways to educate students from preschool through graduate programs, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. UK will invest $1.5 million over three years on the P20 Innovation Lab, which will serve as a melting pot in which school leaders, teachers, and students from all levels across Kentucky can mix with professors in all of UK’s 17 colleges. The lofty goals: figure out ways to incorporate new technology into teaching; help bridge gaps between what students know when they graduate from high school and what universities and employers expect them to know; and shake up conventional teaching and classroom formats. “It’s really going to give us the capacity to customize teaching to individual students and their needs,” said Robert L. King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. UK’s dean of the College of Education, Mary John O’Hair, brought the concept with her when she was hired last year from the University of Oklahoma, which created a similar center in 1995. Professors and teachers can act like scientists by researching and testing different styles, approaches, and the use of web sites, computers, and even video games to help them in the classroom, she said…

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