What is Social Networking?

Social networking is all about making connections and bringing people together. Conversations that take place in social networking contexts are inherently social, and often revolve around shared activities and interests. The heart of social networking is fostering the kinds of deep connections that occur when common pursuits are shared and discussed. 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, find out what their peers think about topics of interest to them, share music and playlists, and exchange messages with their friends. Social networking systems have led us to a new understanding of how people connect. 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. The first social operating system tools, only just emerging now, understand who we know, how we know them, and how deep our relationships actually are. They can lead us to connections we would otherwise have missed. Early social networking systems already recognize the value of connections and relationships, and as opportunities for virtual collaboration increase, we will rely more on trust-based networks that can interpret and evaluate the depth of a person’s social connections.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • People learn best in groups -- that is why we have cohorts and classes and study groups. Social networking taps the same principal. So far, a Facebook may not seem to have educational potential -- but it is where the students are -- virtually *all* of them. We need to understand it and find the ways it can help connect learners, such as in distance or informal learning situations.
  • I think many teachers are struggling with the boundaries of engagement with spaces that students inhabit. They know Facebook is their students preferred space but grapple with what level of contact they should have. Students also often prefer to keep spaces like Facebook for personal connections but are inexperienced in alternatives especially in making them function effectively for educational group group etc - robyn.jay robyn.jay Aug 31, 2010
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I included aspects of this in Web Aggregation, but there are new tools to make it easier to use social media streams such as twitter and Facebook to pull out the information shared via the URLs people in your network choose to share. The Flipboard iPad app (http://www.flipboard,com/) generates a magazine style view of stories published from its selected sources as well as from an individual's twitter and facebook networks. This looks for URLs embedded in social streams and extracts images and content form the source sites. Another variant is http://paper.li which organizes the content shared in a person's twitter network - it even organizes the content from URLs shared in one's twitter network into "departments" like Politics, Education, Sports. - alan alan Aug 23, 2010
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project sharing form.