Social networking in education
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SOCIAL NETWORKING IN EDUCATION. BY ASHLEE PATZWALD. General Information. Social networks (SN’s) are found online Facebook, MySpace, Twitter These services build social networks for communities of people who share interests Primarily web based

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Social networking in education



General information

General Information

  • Social networks (SN’s) are found online

  • Facebook, MySpace, Twitter

  • These services build social networks for communities of people who share interests

  • Primarily web based

  • Various forms of communication including chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, image and video sharing, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking, virtual conferencing

Identification of position and reasoning

Identification of Position and Reasoning

  • Schools are expected to take advantage of powerful educational tools including new technology and SN’s

  • SN’s are increasingly being used in businesses and universities for communication and collaboration

  • Schools need to equip students with the skills needed to use SN’s appropriately and effectively and how to present themselves online

Identification of position and reasoning cont

Identification of Position and Reasoning Cont.

  • Social networking is not a fad

  • We live in a social world and schools need to reflect this

  • Parents have positive high expectations about the role of SN in students’ lives including:

  • SN introduce students to a wide and diverse range of students

  • SN helps students express themselves better creatively

  • SN develops global relationships

  • Improves conflict resolution and social skills

Identification of position and reasoning cont1

Identification of Position and Reasoning Cont.

  • Just as educators select and incorporate books into the curriculum, the same should be happening with SN

  • Some educators have built their own SN sites using sites such as Ning, specifically for use in class and for home assignments

  • There needs to be a strong emphasis on collaborative and planned activities, tools for expression and an emphasis on bringing different kinds of students together for schools to buy into SN

  • This video reinforces this positive view of SN in education

Identification of appropriate contexts for use and curriculum area focus

Identification of Appropriate Contexts for Use and Curriculum Area Focus

  • Social networking sites are great tools for any type of collaborative project from the various KLA’s including Science, SOSE, English, the Arts, and Health and Physical Education. Technology would also obviously be integrated

  • SN sites allow students to create and share content and virtual objects such as text, images, audio and video, post messages, create profile pages and private social spaces, and research collaboratively using social bookmarking and sending links to each other

Identification of appropriate contexts for use cont

Identification of Appropriate Contexts for Use Cont.

  • Students can also contact, ask questions and communicate with a diverse range of students, teachers and experts

  • Social Networking could also be used extensively in the English and Arts KLA’s

  • Book/movie reviews, blogs/diary entries, reports, poems/song writing, creating, reciting, recording and sharing plays/skits the opportunities are almost endless

  • Critical literacy skills are enhanced as students compare and contrast research

  • Technology skills are also enhanced as students learn how to use new technologies and applications

Pedagogical approaches

Pedagogical Approaches

  • Social constructivism and pedagogy and ICT

  • Work collaboratively on authentic tasks

  • Co-author, share knowledge, mentor, online peer reviews, make resources, collaborative problem solving and research

  • Effective use of technology

  • Planning and organising information

  • Lifelong learning

Pedagogical approaches cont

Pedagogical Approaches Cont.

  • ¾ of online teens use social networking sites regularly

  • ½ talk about educational topics and schoolwork!

  • Children enjoy and are reliant upon social networks

  • More likely to be active participants

  • Highly creative activities

  • Student oriented

  • Collaborative, research based tasks

Pedagogical approaches cont1

Pedagogical Approaches Cont.

  • Ensure guidelines are clearly stated

  • Consider online options for offering feedback

  • Encourage the use of comments and feedback by peers

  • Show examples

  • Point out learning objectives

  • Be aware of the minority who do not have easy access to computers and internet at home

  • Schedule extra class time for these students

Classroom student organisation

Classroom/Student Organisation

  • Learners are more likely to participate if they feel a sense of ownership in the SN

  • Provide guidance of the type of work that should be included using the inbuilt commenting features

  • Instructional design and organisational skills are required to use SN tools for learning content, collaboration and assessment

  • Teachers should become familiar prior to course commencement

  • Induct learners thoroughly

Classroom student organisation cont

Classroom/Student Organisation Cont.

  • Provide activities and content that give context for learning and provide incentives for learners to return and share

Legal ethical considerations

Legal/Ethical Considerations

  • Most schools are cautious about using SN sites

  • Internet Use Policies for students and parents to sign

  • Outlines rules about chatting, email SN and more

  • Many schools encourage online pen-pals, blogs, wikis and teacher/principal online communities

  • Negative experiences such as cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and unwelcome personal encounters are relatively uncommon

  • Only 3% of students say they have given out personal information to strangers

  • Young people are resistant to integrate their personal social networks and activities with job related ones

Legal ethical considerations cont

Legal/Ethical Considerations Cont.

  • It is appropriate for school boards to approach SN with thoughtful policies to maintain trust

  • Parents and communities place faith in schools to protect students during the day and that means securing their safety when they are online

  • Schools need to strike a balance between protecting students and providing a 21st century education

Social networking in education

Thank you for listening

Please visit my wiki for more information



  • A case for social networking in schools, 2009, retrieved 2 December 2010 from website

  • Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking, 2007, retrieved 2 December 2010 from website

  • Designing and Implementing E-Learning, 2008, retrieved 28 November 2010 from website

  • Finger, G. Russell, G. Jamieson-Proctor, R. & Russell, N. (2007). Transforming Learning with ICT: Making it Happen. Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest.

  • How to Use Social-Networking Technology for Learning, 2008, retrieved 28 November 2010 from website

  • Social Networking Belongs in School, 2010, Retrieved 2 December 2010 from website

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