From the “Courses We’d Love to Teach Dept.” is the graduate course “Social Software Affordances” at Teachers College at Columbia. The very comprehensive syllabus says that:
Social software represents the promise of truly networked human communities extending across the online and offline dimensions of reality. But beyond the hype, a critical approach to social software is necessary in order to explore its impact and possibilities.
Students are asked to set up aggregators and blogs, and there will be a class wiki that will collect research and analysis that they gather during the semester. Among the questions they hope to answer are:
What is ‘social’ about social software? What are the pedagogical implications of social software for education? What are the social repercussions of unequal access to social software? Can social software be an effective tool for individual and social change?
In some less formal ways, these are questions we should all be asking even on the K-12 level.