Facebook education platform to make schools more social

4 Sep 2015

Facebook has revealed its new education software platform, designed to bring some of its tools to the classroom. The company has reiterated that it will remain a separate entity from the social network.

The Facebook education platform revealed by the company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, was the result of teaming up with Summit Public Schools in the California area.

The software platform follows on from concepts that have already been mooted by the likes of Google, where students and teachers could collaborate on projects and homework in the cloud.

Essentially, Facebook say that, by creating a centre where students can collaborate and receive assignments online, time in the classroom will be freed up for the teacher to work with their students on a more individual basis.

Students can “visualise and track all of their coursework as a path towards these goals, connecting their daily decisions to their long-term aspirations,” Cox said of the platform.

Facebook education platform still

Won’t need a Facebook account

“This means that every moment of each students’ day is motivated by what they want to be when they grow up. Alongside this, teachers can then check in on how their students are doing to give tailored feedback each day, and parents can do the same to view their kids’ progress at any time.”

Distancing itself from the social network aspect of Facebook, Cox says that there is no need to have a Facebook account to work with the program.

Despite Cox’s assurances that the programme will adhere to strict student data security protocols, some organisations have expressed concerns about the company’s ability to keep children safe.

In particular, Leonie Haimson, the executive director of the non-profit organisation Class Size Matters, which aims to secure smaller classroom sizes in US schools, criticised Facebook’s history of data protection.

“Facebook does not have the greatest reputation when it comes to privacy,” said Haimson to The New York Times.

Student on laptop image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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