Saturday, January 7, 2012

Academic Social Networks: So What Do They Look Like?

In my previous post I mentioned two of the big players in the emerging industry of academic social networking platforms, and At first glance the interface looks very similar to facebook or other similar social networking sites, but upon closer examination you will see some differences.

Both the Schools App by Inigral and the Academic Engagement Network by Goingon have the ambitious goal of addressing the needs of students and schools from the time a high school student considers applying, through to building and serving alumni networks. Below are some screenshots to help you get an idea of what a student encounters in these applications:

Above: Inigral's Schools App is built on the Facebook platform and is closely connected with the social networking juggernaut.

Above: Goingon employs an array of linked applications, such as the campus channel, community builder, and personal commons.

Student are invited to join the applications via email, or more directly upon completion of an online orientation via a hyperlinked url. As we close in on the completion of our online orientation here at Laney College I am advocating for the latter as a primary means of connecting students directly to the application.