Using Social Networking to Enhance Students’ Learning Experiences


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MECA 2010 Conference Presentation

Published in: Education, Technology

Using Social Networking to Enhance Students’ Learning Experiences

  1. 1. Using Social Networking to Enhance Students’ Learning Experiences Steve C. Yuen, Ph.D. Professor The University of Southern Mississippi 2010 MECA Conference, Jackson, Mississippi, February 10, 2010
  2. 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. 3. Universities and Social Networking.
  4. 4. connected
  5. 5. Popular Social Networks •Facebook •Friendster •LinkedIn •MySpace •Ning
  6. 6. Social Networking Factoids • Social networks now represent the fastest growing Internet segment – 3 times the rate of overall Internet growth. (2009) • Social networking sites are growing at the rate of 47% annually, reaching 45% of total web users. (2006) • Social networking and blogging are now the 4th most popular online activities, according to Nielsen’s recently released Global Faces and Networked Places report. (2009) Source: Nielson Netratings
  7. 7. • The most visited social networking site in the world (Nielsen Report, 2009), • More than 300 million active users (Facebook,2009) • Average user has 130 friends on the site • More than 2 billion photos uploaded to the site each month • More than 14 million videos uploaded each month
  8. 8. • 50 million Twitter users • A monthly growth of 1,382% as reported by in March 2009
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Pew Internet & American Life Project
  11. 11. Social Learning
  12. 12. Social Learning • Best explained by situated learning theory which is rooted in Vygotskian perspectives on learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991) • People learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation (Albert Bandura, 1977) • Shift the view of learning from a cognitive process to a process of participation in the social world • Learning emerges from engagement in social interaction • Focus on the learning that occurs within a social context. It considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling
  13. 13. Social Networking in Education
  14. 14. Social Networking in Education • Provide a casual place of learning • Develop literacy and communication skills • Encourage students to express their own thoughts • Provide effective collaboration and communication • Offer a channel of resources and knowledge exchanges
  15. 15. Social Networking in Education • Provide a source of social support and socialization for different learners • Enhance students’ learning experiences • Develop e-portfolios • Form communities of practice • Build an online learning community • Offer immersion in a foreign language environment
  16. 16. A Case Study • Conducted in the US and Hong Kong • Designing and teaching two courses 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
  17. 17. Participants • 30 students enrolled in graduate level courses in educational technology from two universities (USM and CUHK) during the spring semester in 2008 • Majority of participants in both courses were part-time in-service teachers who were pursuing a master’s degree or a graduate minor in IT. • The courses were offered in a blended learning or hybrid format
  18. 18. 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 courses were invited to join the class social network • No guest or outsider was allowed to join and participate in the social network
  19. 19. The Results of My Case Study • 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 networking 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 networking in learning • Students felt more actively involved in the course that use social networking • Using a social networking site in a class could build a sense of community among learners
  20. 20. Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0: Implications of Web-Based Communities and Networking Chapter 16 - Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-Learning Courses
  21. 21. The End Questions or Comments? Thank You for Attending My session! This presentation is available on the Web at: