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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Christine Greenhow and Amy Chapman

In a public health crisis where social distancing, or physical distancing while in public spaces, is the new normal, social media offer respite from being alone. Recent statistics…

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Abstract

Purpose

In a public health crisis where social distancing, or physical distancing while in public spaces, is the new normal, social media offer respite from being alone. Recent statistics show spikes in social media usage worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic. More than just easing loneliness, such freely available digital tools offer affordances for education in an emergency.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper summarizes insights from literature reviews of over a decade of research and recent case studies on the benefits of teaching with social media in K-12 education.

Findings

The authors highlight three affordances of social media for fostering active learning, community building and civic participation and describe how social media can be used in conjunction with conventional learning management systems. Furthermore, the authors argue that the unprecedented health crisis that is faced today requires the participation of responsible citizens of all ages; K-12 public education is on the front lines of preparing informed and active citizens and the integration of social media as part of remote education plans can help.

Practical implications

The paper includes instructional guidelines for K-12 teachers and instructional designers in various settings who seek to integrate social media as part of their strategy for teaching students at a distance and facilitating their civic participation.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identified need for evidence-based and pragmatic approaches to K-12 online teaching and learning using technologies already widely in use (i.e. social media).

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Christine Greenhow

This viewpoint essay seeks to argue that young people's online social networking can serve as sites for and supports for student learning in ways not currently assessed.

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Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint essay seeks to argue that young people's online social networking can serve as sites for and supports for student learning in ways not currently assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

The two themes presented are based on a select review of the research literature as well as the author's explorations of young people's online social networking practices within MySpace and Facebook, two naturally occurring, youth‐initiated sites, as well as in an online social networking application designed for environmental science education and civic action.

Findings

Two themes are presented: (1) social network sites can serve as direct and indirect supports for learning, such as providing an emotional outlet for school‐related stress, validation of creative work, peer‐alumni support for school‐life transitions, and help with school‐related tasks; and (2) online social networking can stimulate social and civic benefits, online and offline, which has implications for education.

Practical implications

Currently, social media are largely blocked in schools due to privacy, security, and copyright concerns. In the USA, the National Educational Technology Plan published in November 2010, and recent educational standards, both assume 24/7 access and use of newer web technologies for learning and advocate appropriation of technologies students already use, and prefer to use, for educational purposes. Consideration of how social media, such as social network sites, currently support informal learning may advance one's ability to construct effective social media‐enabled environments for more formal learning purposes.

Originality/value

This paper presents concrete examples of how social network sites, typically seen as a distraction, might be re‐envisioned as supports for revised student learning outcomes.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Christine Greenhow and Sarah Galvin

As higher education moves to formats that are not face-to-face classes in the wake of a global pandemic, educators need research-based guidelines to inform instructional planning…

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Abstract

Purpose

As higher education moves to formats that are not face-to-face classes in the wake of a global pandemic, educators need research-based guidelines to inform instructional planning and implementation. This study aims to provide recommendations for teaching with social media, as a complement and enhancement to traditional online teaching approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on reviews of the research literature and the authors’ own experiences in studying and integrating social media into remote teaching and learning in university settings.

Findings

Learning environments that blend asynchronous online elements, where students can go at their own pace, on their own time, have some choice over their learning and are regularly and meaningfully engaging with other students, their teacher and the subject matter are most successful for student learning. Social media, with its affordances for personal profiling, relationship-building, content creation and socializing, when thoughtfully integrated into an online education plan, can help students and teachers stay connected while apart, enhance students’ engagement and make remote learning seem less remote.

Practical implications

The paper includes instructional guidelines for instructors and instructional designers in various post-secondary settings who seek to integrate social media as part of their strategy for remote higher education.

Originality/value

This study fulfills an identified need for pragmatic approaches to online higher education using social media.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Christine Greenhow and Benjamin Gleason

This paper aims to provide a re-envisioning of traditional conceptualizations of scholarship informed by knowledge assets theory, trends shaping the modern university and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a re-envisioning of traditional conceptualizations of scholarship informed by knowledge assets theory, trends shaping the modern university and technological advancements. We introduce social scholarship, a set of scholarly practices being envisioned within the conventional four domains of scholarship (i.e. discovery, integration, teaching and application). This paper provides concrete examples of the benefits and challenges of enacting social scholarly practices in light of Boisot’s theory of information flows, proprietary knowledge and the social learning cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is a cross-disciplinary conceptual exploration.

Findings

In the model of social scholarship, access to knowledge is spreading faster than ever before; information flows are bi-directional in each domain (discovery, teaching, integration and application) where previously knowledge resided with the institution, flowing out to the public. Relationships between scholars and their university as well as between government, university, researchers and the public are being re-negotiated.

Research limitations/implications

Certain limitations may exist, such as the conceptual alignment of a business model of knowledge generation to the university, which has particular cultures, service-orientations and power structures that are unique to academia.

Practical implications

The alternative model for scholarship outlined in this paper has implications for those in higher education concerned with faculty recruitment, retention, professional development and performance review. The insights in this paper are also relevant for those concerned with the induction and training of doctoral students and preparation of future faculty programs.

Social implications

The conceptualization of scholarship outlined in this paper has implications for a broad, non-specialist audience who seeks to access, critique and provide input on basic, interdisciplinary or applied research as well as teaching in higher education.

Originality/value

Using a business model of knowledge generation, this paper introduces how current social media affordances and societal values can and are transforming conceptions of “the scholar,” “scholarship” and the university as knowledge-purveyor.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Erica Rosenfeld Halverson

This viewpoint essay seeks to discuss the promise and perils of integrating social networking technologies into formal learning environments.

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Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint essay seeks to discuss the promise and perils of integrating social networking technologies into formal learning environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The work is grounded in a new literacies perspective and brings insights from learning in participatory cultures to bear in the discussion of social networking sites in formal settings.

Findings

The paper describes three major design trade‐offs in the use of social networking sites: privacy versus redundancy when participating in an SNS; whether goals for participation are endogenous or exogenous learning goals; and conception of identity in SNSs as holistic versus identity in formal learning environments as uniquely constructed in the learning setting.

Practical implications

These design trade‐offs arise as a result of importing technologies for learners into environments that are better suited to technologies for learning. Therefore, the paper suggests that the goals for learning are more important than the use of any individual technology in the classroom.

Originality/value

K‐16 school leaders and administrators should begin to think like designers rather than policy makers when determining whether and how to meaningfully bring social networking technologies into learning environments.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Jolene Zywica, Kimberly A. Richards and Kim Gomez

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

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Kylie A. Peppler and Maria Solomou

Using a systems‐based approach to creativity and a sociocultural constructionist approach to learning, this study aims to highlight how creative ideas emerge within a community

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Abstract

Purpose

Using a systems‐based approach to creativity and a sociocultural constructionist approach to learning, this study aims to highlight how creative ideas emerge within a community and spread amongst its members.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a design‐based approach to research, this study took place within the social media environment, Quest Atlantis. Chat data were collected from 85 participants and screenshots were taken of the virtual architecture designed and built by players in the Quest Atlantis environment, in an effort to explore the nature of creativity and collaborative learning within the context of virtual 3D architectural construction.

Findings

The findings illustrate the rise and spread of creativity in online communities and also point to the social and cultural nature of creativity.

Research limitations/implications

This study, the first of its kind, focuses on how creativity operates within a single community in order to draw implications about digital creativity more broadly.

Practical implications

Implications for designing virtual and physical communities to promote creativity are discussed.

Originality/value

Documenting and analyzing an entire creative system in the everyday world can be a challenging endeavor. Social media, by contrast, offer an opportunity to document, describe, and analyze creativity, extend Csikszentmihalyi's work into the realm of social media and push back on current conceptions of digital creativity.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Trevor Owens

Online community sites devoted to RPG Maker, an inexpensive software for creating role‐playing video games, have emerged as spaces where young people are developing valuable

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Abstract

Purpose

Online community sites devoted to RPG Maker, an inexpensive software for creating role‐playing video games, have emerged as spaces where young people are developing valuable competencies with digital media. This study seeks to examine the largest of these communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a mix of qualitative methods including a survey, interviews and analysis of the structure of the site. The study uses discourse analysis and is grounded in work on situated learning.

Findings

The study suggests that the site and community are scaffolding young people into deeper understanding of digital production and the development of practical skills, like programming, as individuals take on identities associated with different roles in game design.

Research limitations/implications

This study reinforces the value of research focused on young people's social media creation and also suggests that there is still much to be learned about technologically simple but socially rich platforms like web forums. As qualitative research it does not generate statistical generalizations.

Practical implications

This research suggests three implications for the design of online learning environments focused on media production. Designers should: start with learners' interests and basic skills will evolve; support a diverse range of production roles and identities; and offer simple technical systems that can support sophisticated digital learning communities.

Originality/value

While there is much work on learning in online communities, little of that work has focused on the importance of the role‐taking of young people in those communities and on implications of these spaces for designing online learning environments.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Derek L. Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate novel techniques for exploring relationship data extracted from social media sites for actionable insights by educators, researchers

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate novel techniques for exploring relationship data extracted from social media sites for actionable insights by educators, researchers, and administrators.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper demonstrates how non‐programmers can use NodeXL, an open source social network analysis tool built into Excel 2007/2010, to collect, analyze, and visualize network data from social media sites like Twitter and YouTube.

Findings

Researchers and education professionals can use NodeXL to explore (a) social networks to identify important individuals and subgroups, as well as (b) content networks to map the underlying structure of a domain and find important content. Illustrative examples are provided using NodeXL to examine followers of a Twitter user focused on open education, as well as a content network of YouTube videos about surgery.

Research limitations/implications

Tools like NodeXL are making network analysis accessible to non‐technical researchers in a variety of fields spanning the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Despite their value, network analysis techniques are only as good as the data that underlie them, requiring careful assessment of possible selection biases and triangulation of findings.

Practical implications

Educational institutions and educators can benefit from more systematically analyzing their social media initiatives from a network perspective.

Originality/value

This paper describes some of the techniques and tools needed to make sense of the social relationships that underlie social media sites. As relational data are increasingly made public, such techniques will enable more systematic analysis by researchers studying social phenomena and practitioners implementing social media initiatives.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Matthew Gold and George Otte

This paper sets out to analyze the implementation of an academic social network that connects faculty members, administrators, and graduate students in a multi‐campus university

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to analyze the implementation of an academic social network that connects faculty members, administrators, and graduate students in a multi‐campus university system. Part of a new generation of university‐sponsored virtual spaces that foreground social networking, the CUNY Academic Commons has fostered a growing community of members who use the site to collaborate with colleagues across the system. This paper seeks to describe the processes involved in creating the site and to offer guidance to institutions considering similar projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a case study of the CUNY Academic Commons that is supported by site analytics, usage reports, and public site materials.

Findings

The CUNY Academic Commons has increased awareness of member projects and research interests, built a greater sense of community between discrete campuses, promoted an open culture of sharing, and encouraged collaborative ventures across the system. The site gives members a greater degree of control over the design, presentation, and content of their own web‐based work than is traditionally possible in closed‐source, closely managed university websites.

Originality/value

The paper will be of interest to academic institutions interested in using social‐networking technologies to strengthen their communities.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

1 – 10 of 12