CIDER session on Social Networking

Today I listened to a CIDER session on Social Networking. My goal was to find out how it can benefit online learners and also gather some useful info for my presentation.

The session was delievered by researchers from the Uni of Pittsburgh. Their research was very interesting and showed some interesting differences between on-campus and online learners in their choice of tool usage.

What is Web 2.0?

– social software, 2nd phase of WWW enabling greater social nad participatory use (Anderson 2007)

– shows about 3000 e-tools available now

Learning with Web 2.0

– you are hypervisible

– breaks down barriers

– fluid learning integrated into lifestyles

– social constructivist (Huang)

The results of the research show that EMAIL is by far the most favourite communication tool followed by cell phones, wikis and Facebook. On the other end of the poll was Second Life as the least favourite. There  was some difference in the use of tools between distance and on-campus Ss. The biggest contrast in tool usage was in relation to Skype and RSS. They were mostly used by the online learners.

Someone mentioned that the usage of Web 2.0 tools makes up for the lack of classroom/face-to-face communication and also diminishes feelings of isolation in online learning.

I find it really hard to implement collaborative tasks into our provision. Newcomers are far more reserved and not used to this form of learning.

Link to the session:

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