To what extent does putting the social network in the classroom affect students' perceptions of it? We know they love MySpace and Facebook--when you put the same technology in the classroom, are they still excited about it? In higher education (and perhaps K-12) we've seen over and over that requiring students to participate in a class blog transforms it into a forced activity, no different than standard writing assignments (which isn't necessarily bad, but is different than the organic nature of the external blogosphere).
I'm interested in what design features of a social network would continue to engage and motivate kids across these diverse contexts of use (ie. in school and out of it). I'd love to hear any opinions or experiences, both positive and negative, that people in this group might have had. Thanks!
P.S. I am a PhD student in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. My area of interest is in social computing, and in particular, teens' patterns of participation in social networking sites. My research group is funded by a National Science Foundation broadening participation in computing project to diversify and increase students' interest in technology degrees and careers.