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A 2.5 minute video explaining Twitter - great for those who don't understand!

Stanford's lessons - and using Facebook to teach application development

facebook.jpgInteresting piece out of Read/Write Web: What Standford Learned Building Facebook Apps. Here's the intro:
Dr. BJ Fogg and Dave McClure taught a class last semester at Stanford on Building Facebook Applications. In 10 weeks, the 80 students had created 50+ applications and in total had over 20 Million installs - with 5 having more than 1 million users.
For the lessons, you need to read the article, but I was more intrigued by what they did in the class. One of the challenges for an instructor is always to "engage" your students and make the class both interesting and relevant. To make the students want to do even more and learn further. To make whatever you are doing "real" so that it applies to the students' lives.

To that end, what a great way to use Facebook to teach application development! The students:

  1. Can very easily see their end result (their app) in usage;
  2. Can compete with each other to see whose app gets more usage (which may drive further development/innovation);
  3. Can get real feedback from users outside their regular sphere (i.e. "regular" Facebook users not just Stanford students);
  4. Gain excellent experience and job skills for post-college employment;
  5. Potentially get job offers now if their app is cool enough;
  6. Learn all the other skills outside of just programming, such as metrics, marketing, customer interaction, etc.
Now I don't know how the class actually went... and I imagine that there are other colleges/universities doing this... it just was the first time I have ever thought about the potential of using Facebook in this way. How very cool!

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