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Social Networks In Education


A presentation delivered at E-Learn 2008 Conference in Las Vegas on Nov 21, 2008

A presentation delivered at E-Learn 2008 Conference in Las Vegas on Nov 21, 2008

Published in Education , Technology
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  • 1. Social Networks in Education Steve C. Yuen, Ph.D. Professor The University of Southern Mississippi Steve.Yuen@usm.edu and Patrivan K. Yuen Technical Services/Systems Librarian William Carey University pyuen@wmcarey.edu E-Learn 2008 Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada November 20, 2008
  • 2. What is a Social Network? • A social network is an online service for communities of people who share an interest with one another to collaborate. • A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e- mail and instant messaging services (Wikipedia). Barnett: Social Networking March 8, 2008
  • 3. Universities and Social Networking. http://www.slideshare.net/sparkbouy/universities-and-social-networking/
  • 4. Key Emerging Technologies • User-Created Content • Social Networking • Mobile Phones • Virtual Words • The New Scholarship and Emerging Forum of publication • Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming The Horizon Report, 2007 Edition, http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD4781.pdf
  • 5. Popular Social Networks •Facebook •Friendster •LinkedIn •MySpace •Ning
  • 6. Pew Internet & American Life Project • 2007 National Study – 55% all online American Youth between the age of 12 and 17 use social networking sites for communication.
  • 7. Pew Internet & American Life Project
  • 8. Creating and Connecting Project by National School Boards Association • Online survey of about 1,300 American kids (9 to 17 years) and over 1,000 parents, and telephone interviews with more than 200 school district officials in 2007 – Students are spending almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spend watching TV – 96% of students with Internet access engage in social networking – 60% of students say they use the social networking tools to discuss classes, learning outside school, and planning for college – Students report using text messaging, blogging, and online communities such as Facebook and MySpace for educational activities, including collaboration on school projects. http://www.nsba.org/SecondaryMenu/TLN/CreatingandConnecting.aspx
  • 9. Social Networking Research in UK • Despite the fact that the minimum age for most major social networking sites is usually 13, 27% of 8-11 year olds who are aware of social networking sites say that they have a profile on a site. • The majority of adults who had used a social networking site had a profile on Facebook (62%) and this was the most mentioned main social networking site (49%). • Two-thirds of parents claim to set rules about their child’s use of social networking sites, although only 53% of children said that their parents set such rules. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/socialnetworking/report.pdf
  • 10. Social Networking Research in UK • Only a few users highlighted negative aspects of social networking. • Facebook is the most popular site with adults followed by MySpace and then Bebo. • For children aged between 8 and 17, Bebo was the most used social networking site. • Some teenagers and adults in their early twenties reported feeling ‘addicted’ to social networking sites and were aware that their use was squeezing their study time. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/socialnetworking/report.pdf
  • 11. Social Networks in Education • Provide a casual place of learning • Encourage students to express their own thoughts • Provide effective collaboration and communication • Enhance students’ learning experiences • Build an online learning community • Offer immersion in a foreign language environment
  • 12. A Case Study • Designing and teaching a course that involved the use of a social network • Purposes – Obtained specific information about the process of the social network instructional approach – Investigated students’ perceptions on the use of social networking in education
  • 13. Participants • 13 students enrolled in a graduate course in educational technology • The course was offered in a blended learning or hybrid format
  • 14. Design of Social Network • Ning was chosen as an online platform to create a class social networking site • Allowed students to create their own profiles; upload photos, audio, podcasts, and videos, create and join discussion groups, send messages and publish blogs and presentations • Designed for private use • Only class members in the course were invited to join the class social network • No guest or outsider was allowed to join and participate in the social network.
  • 15. Implementation • Introduced social networking concept and the social networking site in the beginning of the course • Provided hands-on demonstration on using the social network site • Invited students to join the respective social network • Required students to create a personal profile • Encouraged students to post personal media and personal blog, podcasts, and videos related to the course content to the social network • Held bi-weekly class discussions in the forum • Encouraged students to form groups for other personal or class activities • Completed a survey at the end of semester
  • 16. Results Item M SD 1. I feel comfortable using the class social networking site. 3.08 0.76 2. My class social networking site allows me to interact and build a 3.46 0.51 learning community. 3. My class social networking site allows me to personalize pages to 3.62 0.51 express individuality and creativity. 4. My class social networking site allows me to pose questions to the 3.54 0.52 community. 5. My class social networking site allows me to share photos, music, 3.62 0.51 and videos. 6. My class social networking site allows me to hold forums to 3.62 0.51 discuss topics of interest.
  • 17. Results Item M SD 7. My class social networking site allows me to find and share 3.62 0.51 educational resources. 8. My class social networking site allows me to create study groups. 3.62 0.51 9. My class social networking site allows me to communicate with 3.62 0.51 classmates about course-related topics. 10. My class social networking site encourages learner-centered 3.46 0.52 activities. 11. My class social networking site provides collaborative learning 3.38 0.51 opportunities. 12. My class social networking site gives me a sense of belonging. 3.08 0.76
  • 18. Results Item M SD 13. My class social networking site promotes knowledge sharing. 3.38 0.51 14. My class social networking site is user-friendly. 3.54 0.52 15. Social networking is a great tool for class communications. 3.69 0.48 16. Social networking can be used for professional development. 3.62 0.51 17. I will become more actively involved in courses that use social 3.77 0.44 networking. 18. I would like to see more social networking class sites used in other 3.65 0.51 classes.
  • 19. Conclusion • Increasing interest in the use of social networking in education • Students in the course welcome the opportunity to experience and explore the use of social network in teaching and learning • Students found the class social networking site was user- friendly and gave them a sense of belonging • Students had positive experience of using social networks in learning • Students felt more actively involved in the course that use social networking