Ello – a quieter place

Ello - über-cool or too aloof for school?
Ello – über-cool or too aloof for school?

I’ve just blagged my way into Ello, the ad-free social network that is billed by many as the “anti-Facebook”. It’s a quiet place (for me) with a clutter-free, if slightly quirky user interface. I like it there (here?): no one replies to my posts, I have no friends or followers. It’s like social networking on a pre-internet ZX Spectrum.

Does it have any import for a teacher? Well… not as such. As I said, it’s pretty quiet right now. Very calming actually. So, in that sense, it’s great for a teacher, blogging after a hard day at work. Could I use it in any way in my classes? Nope. It’s quite a fruity and free place. Quickly, as I’ve browsed through the “noise” section (relatively unfiltered content from random network members) I’ve seen a couple of pictures to raise my highbrows to Roger Moore levels.

What it does do well, is raise the issue of Big Data (corporations harvesting and crunching user information) in education. Our students are using social networks at home, which is their business. But they are also using web services via school, which is our business. I don’t know what the likes of Google do with the data they get from students using their services, and I worry that our students have not knowingly signed-up to having their proclivities harvested for corporate purposes.

So, Ello is okay with me. It is nice to feel that what you put into it really goes nowhere. I’m going to stick with it, until it becomes a rowdier place.

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