Foursquare teaching

By | January 4, 2011

foursquareSocial networking and locational teaching

Foursquare has partnered with twenty US universities to launch the Foursquare For Universities initiative, the foursquare site outlines that:

Foursquare for universities helps students, alumni, and staff connect with each other, find new and interesting things to do, and earn rewards for exploring their campus and nearby areas. We combine a communication platform and a campus guidebook to create a fun experience for our users; students earn points, win ‘Mayorships’ and unlock badges for checking in to places and trying out new activities on campus.

Harvard and Stanford have already bought into this project and in general terms the relationship could be win-win with the various services provided to students being promoted. There are also significant opportunities to move away from the check in and then what I am doing tweet-esque updates i.e. “Mark is eating.” There is a potential for an augmented relality learning grid to be created; a place where students and instructors share in an easy, social, “knowledge-aware” way.


Wish you were more aware of all the incredible learning experiences around you? With 4squarEd, you can unlock your learning and find happiness. You will need 4squarEd, a mobile device, and a passion for education.

Step 1: Download the 4squarEd application to your mobile device, and instantly connect with your library account, your institutional LMS, your ePortfolio, your social networks, registrarial services and more! Connect with your classmates and other learners within and outside of your institution to see what they’re learning. Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Step 2: Tell your friends what you’re studying, what you’re learning and what you want to learn by checking in to one of the learning activities you’re institution’s 4squarEd lists, based on your current courses. Leave tips and resources for other learners. If the learning activity isn’t listed, you can add it to 4squarEd.Step 6: Use 4squarEd wherever you go: in museums, on your co-op placement, with your extra-curricular club or while you’re volunteering. You never know when you’ll come upon a little piece of learning!”

Step 3: Check out tips from your friends in your PLN and others outside it. Find recommendations for resources and suggestions for other activities.

Step 4: The more you use 4squarEd the more you’ll get out of it. Capture your activities, unlock learning objectives and earn points towards competencies based on what you’re learning. Check out stats at 4squarEd!

Step 5: Check-in frequently to become a mentor for a learning activity or competency.

Following on from these themes I came across an interesting talk on TED, whereby the game aspect of motivation and influencing behaviour was looked at.  Now how am I going to use this in teaching….

About Mark Van Hoorebeek

Mark is the Director of Studies for Business Studies and Law, and fulfils lead roles in both the Bradford University Innocence Project and Student Law Society. Mark possesses a biotechnology and genetics background, having taken a first degree in Biotechnology and Microbiology at the University of Sheffield. After government employment in this sector (MAFF/DEFRA), he continued his studies into the field of law, studying and later teaching at the University of Sheffield.

Mark was awarded the Baroness Lockwood Award for Distinguished Teaching (BLADT) in 2009 and was listed in the Dean's list for distinguished teaching for 2008/9 and 2009/10.
Mark teaches a yearly copyright law course to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and has previously collaborated with the University of Cambridge in various eLearning courses.

+ Intellectual Property Law (Undergraduate and MBA programmes)
+ Public Law (Undergraduate and Graduate programmes)
+ Internet Law
+ Business Law
+ Disability law
+ Technology enhanced learning (e-Learning)
+ Legal, communication and marketing impacts of Web 2.0 applications
+ The regulation of the internet and cyberspace
+ Open source systems
+ Sharia Law (specifically financial Instruments and intellectual property)