The benefits and pitfalls of using social networking in education The rise of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo has brought a whole new dimension to social interaction.

This is the first generation that has the technical means to offer a running commentary on every aspect of their lives.

It has sparked a debate on whether this technology, an ever-increasing part of today’s children’s lives, is a force for good, or an opportunity for cyber-bullying to proliferate or worse.

If the negative aspects can be dealt with, these technological advances could potentially alter the dynamics of future schooling; transforming the traditional lecture model into increasing group interaction and dialogue, into learning that’s ‘caught rather than taught’.

School Matters investigates the issues, asks experts and users how the nature of the new mode of communication is affecting the way this generation relates to each other in and out of cyberspace, and how the technology can be harnessed to benefit learning.

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