In general, people seem to agree that Facebook can be a big time-waster... even causing some students lower grades than their less-frequent Facebook-using friends. Now, the BBC is reporting on a Gloucestershire College claim that Facebook is actually cutting down on student dropout rates. They claim that the social aspects of Facebook — allowing students to bond with each other and with professors and faculty members — is helping to create a closer-knit community at the school.
Media-focused classes use closed Facebook groups to get assignments and seek help from fellow students or teachers. The benefit: the school is using an accessible and familiar platform to connect students instead of requiring them to learn a new program. Mobile technology also means that students are able to stay connected even when they're away from their computers, encouraging even more participation.
Another college in England says that Facebook is a useful tool in reminding students of deadlines and due dates. I wish my college professors had done the same! I'm fairly certain that I would have paid more attention to a Facebook notification informing me that my English paper was due the next day than the note scrawled onto the dry-erase board hanging beside my desk.