AFTER DISCUSSING PRELIMINARY research from a survey of third level educators, I can see how several innovative uses of social networking remain untapped in Irish universities. I've formed my conclusion by listening to colleagues in social settings, by attending presentations at Irish education events, and by scanning the initiatives that have come from action groups connected to the Croke Park Agreement. It's easier finding a senior lecturer with a feature phone than it is to find academic staff using the three big socnets of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It's often an issue of productivity and personal financial outlays. In many parts of academia, people want to maintain a rigid work-life balance. Once you get attached to social networking, the lines of demarcation between work conversations and home life get compromised. Hence, there's no real incentive to leverage the power of social networking to help students who want to learn through multiple touchpoints. I'm discussing this idea during the 2011 e-learning week in the Dublin Institute of Technology next week. I expect to further confirm my initial observations.
Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet Project, Kristen Purcell, Associate Director, Research Pew Internet Project, Lauren Sessions Goulet, University of Pennsylvania, and Keith N. Hampton, University of Pennsylvania -- Social Networking Sites and Our Lives, Pew Internet Research, June 16, 2011.