Tuesday, January 29, 2008

West Virginia Educational Social Network

The State Journal reports that West Virginia University with the backing of a grant from Verizon will create a social network for middle and high school students focused around education (with emphasis on the energy sector) to get a head start on career decisions.

Partners in the project include WVU's College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Human Resources and Education and The EdVenture Group.

A description of the project from the WVU press release:

Unlike Facebook.com and other social networking sites, the new site, once developed, will not be open to the general public. Rather, a network of representatives from participating companies and schools will serve as experts and mentors for students who join the site.

Along with Web-based interaction within groups, the site will host discussion groups, chats and blogs on relevant topics and an “Ask the Counselor” section where students can ask questions concerning academic or career issues. Other activities may include contests based on career knowledge, virtual career fairs and group visits to employer or educational facilities.

Interesting concept and I'm excited to learn more about the project. Based on my experience with social networking and the use of blogs in the legal industry I think the application of these technologies in education can be powerful. The added plus is that the platform will be familiar and attractive to the way that middle and high school students communicate. Anyone aware of similar projects like this happening around the country?

I will be interested to hear what Lee Kraus, the guru on education focused social networking, has to say about the pilot project. This reminds me of a concept that I previously discussed with Lee.

WVU press release has more details.

1 comment:

Rebecca Burch said...

Cool!!!

I hope they provide a lot of opportunities for teachers to get training in an atmosphere where they can actually use the stuff in their classrooms. That was a big problem in earlier technology-in-the-classroom initiatives... they would present the stuff and then say "Okay, go back to your classrooms and use it!" and teachers would go back to work and have no clue how to use the stuff.