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2010 Short List Social Networking
2010 ANZ Short List
2010 ANZ Horizon Report Short List
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
Visual Data Analysis
Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
Social networking is a category of Internet communications technology that uses a wide variety of simple tools to help people make connections with each other and to use those connections as pathways to bring them together around shared activities and interests. Students are tremendously interested in social networking sites because of the community, the content, and the activities they can do there. They can share information about themselves and what they are doing, find out what their peers think about topics of interest to them, share photos and links, and post updates or exchange messages easily with all their friends. Relationships are the currency of these systems, but we are only beginning to realize how valuable a currency they truly are.
The next generation of social networking systems will change the way we search for, work with, and understand information by placing people at the center of the network. Social operating system aim to enable sophisticated new tools, that can learn and infer context from our social graphs —who we know — and use those connections to assess credibility, affinities, and even our likes and dislikes. Using the inherent body of background information in our communications flows, these tools make it easy to identify useful connections to people or groups of people that are a likely fit for our interests, be they casual, social, or even work or learning related.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Enquiry
Social networking promotes the exchange of experiences and creates opportunities for students to participate in the construction of knowledge and manage their own learning.
Social networks naturally lend themselves to educational use because they are easy to access, affordable, versatile, and widely used by young people.
Social networking tools can enable teachers to build strong learning-focuses communities around their courses and even their disciplines, encouraging students to interact around topics or media, and to share relevant information. A key concern here is protecting student privacy, but this is a caution, not an obstacle.
Social Networking in Practice
A professor at the University of Texas at Dallas is engaging students in class discussions using Twitter:
Social Syllabus is a new, experimental social networking platform designed for developing courses:
Boston College uses SocialText to encourage conversation between students and teachers:
For Further Reading
Social Media and Young Adults: Pew Research Center
(Amanda Lenhart, Kristin Purcell, Aaron Smith and Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet, 3 February 2010.) This study examines the ways in which young people use social networks and media in their lives.
Using the Technology of Today, in the Classroom Today: The Instructional Power of Digital Games, Social Networking, and Simulations
(Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, and Jason Haas, The Education Arcade, MIT, 2009.) This article discusses the impact of three technologies, including social networking, on students and learning.
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The New Media Consortium
is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of
hundreds of learning-focused organizations
dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. (
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