Facebook is a social networking website

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Facebook (www.facebook.com) is a social networking website which was found in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg during his studying at Harvard University (Bothma,Cosijn, Fourie & Penzhorn 2009). Facebook was exclusive for Harvard student then its membership became available for any user who has a valid email address (Hinkle and Hersh 2007, Tanja 2009). By having valid email, facebook allow users to creat page; add personal and professional information; upload and exchange photos, videos and links; chatting; exchange messages and applications and share common activities and interests though the wide world (Hinkle and Hersh 2007, Roblyer, McDaniel, Webb, Herman, Witty 2010). Unlike others social networking sites, facebook's diverse and leisure functionality attract people to register (Haverback 2009) where facebook website estimated number of its members was approximately 350 million by 2010 year( Kabila, Ahmad, Zainol Abidin 2010 without consideration for education background, age, status and gender (Selwy 2009). From learning environment point of view, facebook has become essential base in academic atmosphere (Downes 2007 cited in Tanja 2009) and considered the most popular social websites among academic staffs and students(Mazer, Murphy and Simonds 2007). Ipsos Mori (2007) in recent study claimed that over 95 per cent of British students who study first degree are using social network website in regular base (Hooley, CRAC and Wellens 2009) and nearly 300,000 of facebook users are faculty employees (Facebook spokesperson Chris Hughes cited in Mazer, Murphy and Simonds 2007) and all that give us a sign about how facebook becomes a significant platform in academic communities

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Facebook is a powerful tool which can be used to enhance education for several reasons.

Facebook is considered as helpful and collaborative tool which certainly can enhance education by several reasons. Facebook can be used in education environment in order to exchange materials, experiences and academic information. Selwy in her study which conducted among number of undergraduate students in 2009 commented that students often would describe their recent events and experiences which related to university staffs and matters such as lectures by using facebook wall. In another education atmosphere, English language classroom for example, Facebook can provide the ability to the users to gain knowledge and higher levels of thinking skills (Garrison & Kanuka 2004 cited Kabila, Ahmad and Zainol 2010). According to Klein in 2008, the Facebook page of the department of education at Washington DC replaces the traditional ways of exchanging work paper, newsletters, web sites announcement and updates and it seems to be an effective tool to do these tasks.Despite the opinions of some researchers which suppose that facebook can clash with current pedagogical systems, Bugeja 2006, Selwy 2009 and Tanja 2009 hold the opponent opinion that facebook offers a golden opportunity to learners to re-engage with education and exchange academic information which usually related to their courses, for example: tests content, seminars, essays and bibliographic database links and they assume that it can promote the students' way of thinking to become more critically. It was proven that facebook was a reliable environment for French language learners to meet the aims of French course grammatically, functionally and linguistically (Mills 2009 cited in Kabila, Ahmad and Zainol Abidin 2010)

In addition, Facebook can play a significant role to help student with advice and answering inquires. In several occasions some students need an immediate support or seek for particular information which can be provided by facebook instantly. Missing class, for instance, would lead some students to use facebook as a mean to contact with their peers to clarify some points in a lecture which seems to them unclear. Other students would turn to it for asking about the educational rules or courses requirements which are already presented in handbooks or sent by official emails, however, this way of finding information seems to be suitable for students' modes of contacting and finding critical information (Selwy 2009). Tanja (2009) also found during her study that her students mentioned that facebook helped them to illustrate and exchange information about holiday projects even if they were in holiday. Learners realised that facebook was fertile discussion land to assist them to understand of the theoretical principle, develop ideas better as a group rather than individuals and support each other.(Haverback 2009)

Another useful feature of facebook which can promote the sense of helping and collaboration is its active specialist scientific groups. As it is knowing that facebook can allow users to establish specific group for particular academic subjects which aim to achieve the sense of community by allowing various of experts or users to discuss different aspects of these subjects either by posting on the group wall, chatting or sending messages (Tanja 2009).The benefits of these groups can be seen in Cape Town University in Saiuth Africa and George Tech. University in United State of America where library groups were created to provide direct services and help to the majority of students who belonged to these groups (Tanja 2009, Mattthews 2006 cited in Roblyer, McDaniel, Webb, Herman, Witty 2010). Southern Illinois University's College of Business at Carbondale also take the advantage of facebook group by creating a group that allow students ,alumni and faculty staffs to share information and market college events and activities (Mattthews 2006 cited in Roblyer, Mcdaniel, Webb, Herman, Witty 2010)

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Furthermore, facebook can prepare students before lectures and encourage them to be more productive and participated. A recent study by Roblyer et al (2010) illustrated that students in universities have the tendency to use facebook to enhance classroom work (Roblyer et al 2010 cited in Kabila, Ahmad and Zainol 2010 ). Tanja (2009) found that some lecturers observed that students used facebook to discuss their queries before the lecture which that led to spend the time of class more effectively, therefore they focused on particular area of that lecture which needed to be covered in detail by lecturer. In fact, Facebook functionality was converted by students from social network to become an informal academic channel for discussing project work and revision (Madge, Meek, Wellnes, Hooley 2009) .From teachers prospective, the discussion which are held by students via facebook help them to prepare lessons (Haverback 2009).

Moreover, facebook open the door to strengthen social relationship between students and tutors and also between students themselves. One of the essential functions of this social website is to create the sense of community which can help learners to build a relationship based on their common interests and knowledge (Selwy 2009, Klein 2008 cited in Roblyer, MacDanial, Webb, Herman, Witty 2010). In contrast of face to face relationship, Walther (1995) assumed that the relationship which built on online communication media might likely improve better and people tend to be self-disclosures (Walther & Tidwell 2002 cited in Mazer, Richard, Murphy and Simonds (2007)). Students consider using facebook to communicate with them by teachers as a positive sign which lead to strengthen relationship and can impact positively on their outcome (Mazer cited in Roblyer, MacDanial, Webb, Herman, Witty 2010, Mazer, Richard, Murphy and Simonds) and that can be clearly seen in a study conducted at Yale by Duboff (2007) which concluded that facebook helped to cope barriers between students and faculty staffs (Tanja 2009).

Orienting new higher education students and integrating them socially in university life is another tangible benefit of facebook aiding. New York University trained number of students how to use facebook to orient new students and later those trained students reported that orientation using facebook gain new students more detailed information about the university topics (Hinkle, Hersh 2007). The survey which done by Madge, Meek, Wellnes and Hooley in 2009 showed that more than half of new students started to make facebook friendship before starting university which that helped them later in settling process.

Facebook as motivational environment can be another crucial reason to use it to enhance education. Experiencing unconfident, pressure and common negotiation difficulties during study are facts in classroom atmosphere which might not exist if students used facebook instead. Cape Town University and North Carolina University students reported that they found facebook convincing media to discuss study matters with lecturer without any feeling of stressful or pressure which may happen in real classroom situation (Tanja 2009) . Academic staffs comment that facebook allow student to ask and interact with them from their comfortable which that a result of presenting themselves in relaxed (Tanja 2009, Mazer, Murphy and Simonds 2007). From learning English point of view, a study was conducted by Kabila, Ahmad and Abidin in (2010) at University Sains Malaysia which concluded that English learner who took a part to practice English skills via facebook noticed that the level of confidence increased gradually and they avoided feeling worry about making mistakes. Facebook being used by students as a space of freedom discussion and giving attitude about social and academic experiences even with teachers without hesitating (Selwy 2009)

In addition, features and services which facebook has can promote the sense of humor and make education environment more interesting. Chatting, online games, messages, posting on walls, uploading photos and videos, exploring of others' personal page and information and exchanging links and multimedia certainly become attractions for students (Selwy 2009, Kabila, Ahmad, Zainol Abidin 2010). Blattner, and Fiori (2009) claimed that the features of facebook can promote interaction among students which can lead to increase motivation to learn English (Blattner, and Fiori (2009) cited in , Kabila, Ahmad, Zainol Abidin 2010) and that was proven by study which was done on a group of English learners where the majority of them demonstrated that facebook enhanced their motivation to contact and read in English( Kabila, Ahmad, Zainol Abidin 2010).Selwy (2009) observed in her study that the humor sense was existing throughout student's communication via facebook and they tended to exchange funny stories about other students, academic staffs or academic life. Other group of French learners mentioned that using facebook made their class more humorous which led to enhancing communication by French language (Kabila, Ahmad, Zainol Abidin 2010). Educationalists realized that facebook create effective education environment and increase the level of engagement (Roblyer, MacDaniel, Webb, Herman and Watty 2010)

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