Erik Saas for MediaPost writes, “…I maintain there are plenty of ways social networks can be learning aids rather than hindrances.“
As someone who works in higher education, we have seen data that supports this hypothesis. Of course we are working on proving this empirically through collection of additional data (and the subsequent analysis).
Studies that show the benefits of social networking with regards to academic success are continuing to surface. Data suggests that students who leverage communities as part of their academic program, perform better academically. And, (transitively speaking), those that perform better (higher grades) have higher graduation/completion rates. Of course it is up to the school to implement social communities and engage students in a meaningful way – beyond the farmvilles and mafia wars, of course!