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Cultivating professional communities of teachers and practitioners through Social Networking Sites Maria Ranieri*,  Stefan...
Background <ul><li>The overall background of this study is provided by the SoMobNet Framework: </li></ul><ul><li>informal ...
Research questions <ul><li>The research is part of a larger study aiming at  exploring  the professional uses of Social Ne...
Research design <ul><li>Study 1  : Exploratory study based on quantitative and qualitative data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part...
Method <ul><li>The online survey was based on a three-part questionnaire: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 closed-ended sections: <...
Findings <ul><li>SN manager profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Average age: more than 40 years </li></ul><ul><li...
Findings SN manager profile: quantitative data Fig. 1 – Social media uses
Findings <ul><li>SN manager profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Frequence of use of SNS: 8/10 access SNS many tim...
 
Findings <ul><li>SN groups profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>group foundation: 2007 (1), 2008 (2), 2009 (4), 20...
Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 2 – Number of SN groups’ members  Fig. 3  – SN groups’ members  profile
Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 4 – SN groups’ aims and purposes
Findings <ul><li>SN groups profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Membership mechanisms:  </li></ul><ul><li>6/10 com...
Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 5 – Participation levels
Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for founding the groups  :  </...
Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Management :  </li></ul><ul><li>All gr...
Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Negative events :  </li></ul><ul><li>m...
Findings SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data We celebrated some significant moments for the group or for sing...
Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>I like… :  </li></ul><ul><li>the easy ...
Discussion and conclusions <ul><li>Connecting : to be connected for sharing comments, link, resources and information is t...
Future developments <ul><li>Elements that deserve further investigation and that will be the object of the 2nd study:  </l...
Thanks!   Maria Ranieri*,  Stefania Manca**, Antonio Fini* *University of Florence , Florence ** Institute of Educational...
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Cultivating professional communities of teachers and practitioners through Social Networking Sites

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  1. 1. Cultivating professional communities of teachers and practitioners through Social Networking Sites Maria Ranieri*, Stefania Manca**, Antonio Fini* *University of Florence , Florence ** Institute of Educational Technology - CNR, Genoa Italy
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>The overall background of this study is provided by the SoMobNet Framework: </li></ul><ul><li>informal mediated context of learning </li></ul><ul><li>changing practices developed by practitioners in the field of education through SNS </li></ul><ul><li>where mobile learning meets SNS </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research questions <ul><li>The research is part of a larger study aiming at exploring the professional uses of Social Networking Sites to cultivate communities of teachers and practitioners. In particular, it intends to investigate the following general issues: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the mechanisms characterizing people participation in SN professional groups? [Stellar Issue: Connecting ] </li></ul><ul><li>What is the interplay between real and virtual experiences in these groups, and the impact of social mobile practices ? [Stellar Issue: Contextualization ] </li></ul><ul><li>How people’s profiles are evaluated to be admitted into the groups? How credibility is established? [Stellar Issue: Orchestration ] </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research design <ul><li>Study 1 : Exploratory study based on quantitative and qualitative data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants: 10 managers of SN professional groups (5 F & 5 M) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Study 2 : A wider survey based on quantitative data and semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants: more than 500 members of SN professional groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In this presentation the focus is on Study 1 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Method <ul><li>The online survey was based on a three-part questionnaire: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 closed-ended sections: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>participants’ socio-demographic data (age, gender, jobs, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>characteristics of SN groups, such as: 1) purposes; 2) members’ profiles; 3) participation; 4) measures to manage the conflict, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 open-ended section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>participants’ motivations and behaviours related to group management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>September-October 2011 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Findings <ul><li>SN manager profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Average age: more than 40 years </li></ul><ul><li>Educational background: 7/10 have a university degree </li></ul><ul><li>Job: 5 teachers, 3 freelancers, other </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs use: 9/10 have used PC and the Internet since more than 10 years </li></ul><ul><li>SN sites: 10/10 have a Facebook profile and 6/10 since more than 3 years. They use also other social media tools and social networks , as shown in Figure 1. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Findings SN manager profile: quantitative data Fig. 1 – Social media uses
  8. 8. Findings <ul><li>SN manager profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Frequence of use of SNS: 8/10 access SNS many times during the day </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile access: 6/10 access SNS through their mobile phone (there is a correlation with the age) </li></ul><ul><li>Groups: almost all founded more than one group </li></ul><ul><li>History: 6/10 had founded virtual communities before SNS </li></ul>
  9. 10. Findings <ul><li>SN groups profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>group foundation: 2007 (1), 2008 (2), 2009 (4), 2010 (2) e 2011 (1) </li></ul><ul><li>groups members: 5/10 have more than 1000 members, 2/10 have between 500 and 1000 members, only 2 groups have less than 300 members </li></ul><ul><li>members profile: mainly teachers, but also experts, professionals and “curious” members </li></ul>
  10. 11. Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 2 – Number of SN groups’ members Fig. 3 – SN groups’ members profile
  11. 12. Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 4 – SN groups’ aims and purposes
  12. 13. Findings <ul><li>SN groups profile: quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Membership mechanisms: </li></ul><ul><li>6/10 completely free </li></ul><ul><li>3/10 invitation or cooptation </li></ul><ul><li>1/10 filtered by the founder </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation criteria: the main criteria is the sharing of interests </li></ul><ul><li>Rules: almost all groups don’t have any explicit rules </li></ul><ul><li>Removal of people or contents: this is not a common practice, but it happens in case of spamming, advertising or opportunistic behaviours </li></ul>
  13. 14. Findings SN groups profile: quantitative data Fig. 5 – Participation levels
  14. 15. Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for founding the groups : </li></ul><ul><li>“ it’s the future of free and active citizenship”; “they increase sharing and participation”; “to provide professional support…”; “to share comments on a specific topic”; “personal curiosity” </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for using SNS : </li></ul><ul><li>“ visibility”; “speedness”; “networking with a high number of people”; “to share my interests with others”; “they provide more opportunities for sharing ”; “uniqueness” (anobii); “they have specific functionalities” </li></ul>
  15. 16. Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Management : </li></ul><ul><li>All groups are mainly managed by the founder with some exeptions. In these cases, the founder is helped by colleagues in promoting discussions and checking posts/comments. </li></ul><ul><li>Actions done to cultivate the group’s life : </li></ul><ul><li>“ posting news”; “posting links”; “commenting news”; “posting comments”; “sharing links”; “sharing resources”; “checking contents”; “answering questions”; “moderating conflicts”; “promoting pertinent initiatives”; “favouring discussion” </li></ul>
  16. 17. Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Negative events : </li></ul><ul><li>most of the SN groups’ managers declared that there were no negative events with some exceptions … such as people leaving the group because of flaming or removing advertisement </li></ul><ul><li>Positive events : </li></ul><ul><li>“ sharing emotions”; “impact on real initiatives at local level”; “generating new projects”; “widening participation”; “widening sharing”; “creation of a network of blogs”; “storing of posts” (memory of the groups) </li></ul>
  17. 18. Findings SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data We celebrated some significant moments for the group or for single participants:  subscriber #1000, a dyslexic child passing to next class, a colleague's project winning a contest. We shared also the frustration for losing a job, the sadness of newly retired, and lots of laughter in telling jokes and gags. Sharing emotions…
  18. 19. Findings <ul><li>SN groups and manager profiles: qualitative data </li></ul><ul><li>I like… : </li></ul><ul><li>the easy way of expressing “approval” ( I like ); the possibility to write individual messages; alert messages; sharing </li></ul><ul><li>I dislike : </li></ul><ul><li>the SNS’ “short memory”: the low visibility of posts on the long run; the lack of internal search engines </li></ul>
  19. 20. Discussion and conclusions <ul><li>Connecting : to be connected for sharing comments, link, resources and information is the most appreciated affordance of SNSs. </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualizing : interactions are immersed in contexts with intense interplay between real and virtual presence. From online networks to new projects, local initiatives and new connections. </li></ul><ul><li>Orchestrating : credibility seems to be linked only to professional credits, while excluding personal knowledge, but… there should be some intermediate levels of mediation… </li></ul>
  20. 21. Future developments <ul><li>Elements that deserve further investigation and that will be the object of the 2nd study: </li></ul><ul><li>Practices of mobile social networking: Which affordances and constraints? Issues of geolocalization and privacy, «real-time» participation, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The tacit mechanisms of participation: What kind of implicit rules? Spontaneous or «directed» self-management groups? </li></ul><ul><li>The need of a social memory: How to cultivate and storage it? </li></ul><ul><li>Types and mechanisms of personal credibility: Who credits whom? Which tools? </li></ul>
  21. 22. Thanks!  Maria Ranieri*, Stefania Manca**, Antonio Fini* *University of Florence , Florence ** Institute of Educational Technology, Genoa Italy
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