It seems like Facebook is everywhere these days. With more than 750 million active users the site is a juggernaut. Facebook is an unstoppable social force that when used for good has been the catalyst for a 7 year social media revolution. Higher education has adopted and adapted Facebook for a variety of reasons including: marketing/communications, course participation, academic advising information, roommate matching, and retention/community building, alumni development, and commencement live-streaming.
We're using Facebook as a portal of sorts. It's our communications hub. With page applications, the functionality of Facebook is increasing. While the network reliability of Facebook and its data security may cause heated debates, the fact of the matter is that Facebook could become the new portal solution for higher education. SunGard Higher Education and Datatel are going to merge. Once they join forces, a new strategy may be in the development of connectivity between their enterprise-level solutions and Facebook's cloud-based, social garden. These connections will ensure that everyone is happy. Enterprise-level providers can sustain their business model, campus administrators get proven technology coupled with a modern social portal, and students get an all-in-one location for their information access needs.
Students are already using Facebook for a variety of tasks. Why not incorporate the ability to apply at your institution? Or perhaps register for classes? Or even pay a bill? This may seem wacky right now, but if Google can turn our phones into wallets then Facebook can become a trustworthy portal.
What do you think? Is this too "pie in the sky"? Is Facebook mature enough as a platform to act as a portal solution for higher education?
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