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Affordances of a scaffolded‐social learning network

Jolene Zywica (Graduate Researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Kimberly A. Richards (Graduate Researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Kim Gomez (Professor in Instruction and Learning and in Learning Sciences and Policy in the School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 1 February 2011




This paper aims to examine the development and use of a scaffolded‐social learning network (S2LN) called Remix World. The local aim is to increase understanding of how Remix World is integrated into programmatic and curricular structures as a way to support learning. The broader aim is to contribute to conversations about learning opportunities that S2LNs afford for participants.


Remix World was integrated into the Digital Youth Network (DYN) in‐school and after‐school digital arts curriculum. DYN used Remix World to display and comment on media, artifacts and designs, and to post original work. Two of the authors were given accounts on Remix World, where they logged in to respond to comments and note site activities and conversations.


The data suggest that students across the grade levels regularly used Remix World to post commentary, post media, and critique peers. Students used Remix World across ecologies (home, after school, and school day). Mentors' efforts to integrate the site into their classes increased the number of users and activities on Remix World.

Practical implications

Integrating a media‐based curriculum that encourages critique and production requires some formal feedback and guidelines. It is essential to explore how mentors and teachers pedagogically leverage the students' posts to reach curricular and programmatic learning goals.


This study explores how features and affordances of social networking sites can be redesigned to intentionally support in‐school pedagogical use that promotes transformative communication and the development of critical, new media literacies.



Zywica, J., Richards, K.A. and Gomez, K. (2011), "Affordances of a scaffolded‐social learning network", On the Horizon, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 33-42.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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