What Now?

The goal of this paper/project was to illustrate the potential uses of online social utilities/spaces for faculty and staff. Hopefully by providing tangible examples of ways to employ online social utilities to engage students in these spaces, you will be better equipped and less apprehensive to use them. The middle ground, between the Internet as good or bad, will hopefully be expanded by other educators as the potential of the web continues to be explored. By focusing on the users experiences, and the purpose/goals of the use of online social utilities, educators can better frame their discussions and research to best serve the needs of students. As educators continue to try to reach an increasingly digital student population, it is becoming more clear that colleges can no longer refrain from venturing into online spaces. However, it is still important to remember that not all digital natives are online, and that not all students are digital natives. Still, the face of higher education is changing, and colleges should respond by opening up their virtual and physical campuses to students if they hope to remain competitive.

I hope that other faculty and staff members will contribute to this wiki, adding their examples, so that it can be a continually growing, dynamic document. By engaging this collaborative online social utility, the wiki, you have taken part in a yet another example of how educators can use the potential of the web to create a positive social and educational outcome.