Facebook Applications for Current and Prospective College Students
Facebook is a splendid example as to how online social networks can enhance our ability to communicate with one another. Once created, other entrepreneurs immediately began working on programs that would allow Facebook to connect with other useful applications.
Today, there are a number of such options that can provide Facebook users access to information about colleges, the courses offered and the professors teaching those courses. One of the applications provides info from the famous US News and World Report college ratings publication while others seek to connect students within schools, with course information and professor ratings.
Any readers using these or other applications?
Gradzilla is an application featuring some of the data compiled by US News and World Report. With Gradzilla, students can gain access to information on all aspects of selecting a college including information on majors, athletics, extracurricular activities, tuition, and student body size.
With Gradzilla, students can search for schools by name, location, major, tuition, size, setting, extracurricular activities and intercollegiate sports. The results can then be easily bookmarked for a second review later.
This Facebook interactive application allows you to research information on more than 5000 colleges. The application was created by Embark.com, a company that has “helped more than 15 million students research, organize, and apply to the schools of their choice.”
With College Planner, users can create their own personalized profile. In conjunction with the site’s advanced school finder, the profile can then generate suggested schools that meet your personal criteria and interests.
And all the while you do your research, you can share everything with other Facebook friends.
SkoolPool seeks to connect college applicants to one another and to current students at respective schools. The first primary objective is to help students find the right school.
Through the site you can meet existing college students and theoretically get unbiased information from them about their school. Given that these individuals may attend your final school of choice, the site also allows you to connect with potential classmates.
Courses is designed for both students and instructors. Using Facebook with the Courses application will allow students to share their schedules including the courses they are taking and the activities they are participating in. Students can then search for other classmates where they can share files and discuss specific classes.
In theory the application is also built with instructors and teaching assistants in mind. If students within the class can access one another through Courses and Facebooks, teachers can use the social networking application as part of the class structure. Announcements, syllabi and assignments can be distributed over the student network rather than one constructed by the colleges. Of course, the application can also form the basis for virtual office hours.
Course Profiles is designed for those students taking courses through The Open University. Students may enter the OU course code, or portion of the title and Course Profiles will search the database and provide the full course full name.
By displaying the courses on the Facebook application that students have studied, they can then find people who have taken or are taking the same course creating a potential “study buddy” through the virtual connection. Students can suggest relevant resources and leave helpful details on the comments wall.
Offering access to nearly eight million opinions on more than one million instructors, Rate My Professors is a tool that allows students to share their opinion of their college instructors. With the Facebook application, students can browse through the ratings and comments on every one of those professors, doing so directly from the student’s personal Facebook profile page.
What makes the application so popular is that students can then learn what other students think of specific professors prior to enrolling in that instructor’s class. As the site notes, “Before you register for class find out which professor will inspire you, challenge you, or which will just give you the easy A.”