Well, Facebook has been well “finger wagged” and Blackboard has been given the same treatment in the education sphere with regards to it’s “patented” system for teaching, so when the two come together, what happens? This, Blackboard Sync. As of this writing 44% of Facebook users are using it (gives you some idea of the user base now doesn’t it), and while it seems in adspeak world, that this is a great idea, I’ve got one question… what about privacy? Institutions (and I hope this includes all those in Canada) can block the application, so this seems to be mute issue, but what if this is not the case?
Will Facebook, who already has all the information it needs to sell you a consumer/material version of you to yourself through it’s Beacon program be able to stop “sponsors” from gaining academic information from those institutions who allow the connection to happen? If this expands with Facebook Connect being able to pull out and host a student’s portfolio, will that not also become fair game to advertisers and anyone else who might want to mine data?
Facebook (with regard to sync) says no:
When it was still open only to college students, Facebook profiles often featured users’ course schedules with links to their classmates. Sync offers similar functionality, but within the private space of the application itself. In other words, it doesn’t show up on profiles at all.“It’s a private application, so there’s sensitive information there that you wouldn’t want published to all your friends,” Gage said. Still, she said Blackboard hopes that students will use the application to connect with classmates and form study groups in what Michael L. Chasen, Blackboard’s president and CEO, referred to as “a new kind of social learning community” in the company’s announcement.