What are Social Networks?

Today’s web users are prolific creators of content, and they upload photographs, audio, and video to cloud-based social networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and many others by the billions. While the initial emphasis of social networks was placed on producing and uploading media to these popular sharing sites, as the notion of social media has evolved it has ultimately become more about the conversations started and relationships formed via this media. When users log in to Facebook and Twitter, two of the sites that have the most subscribers and daily traffic, they are there to see what their family, friends, and favorite brands and organizations are doing and who is talking about what. For educational institutions, social media enables two-way dialogues between students, prospective students, educators, and the institution that are less formal than with other media. New tools, such as Facebook’s social search engine, promise to mine these interactions using a concept known as the social graph. A person’s social graph represents the sum of all of a person’s online social connections (who he or she is friends with, who likes the things she or her friends are interested in, who among those connections is where, etc.) and provides a means to search and navigate those connections. Social graphs can be visualized in a variety of interesting ways, but far more interesting is the information embedded within the social graph and what it can tell us.

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

  • I keep waiting for the next thing, but Twitter is still the most important place for global educators to share ideas, best practices, and resources. - shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016 Ditto - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 20, 2016
  • The Case for Social Media in Schools - dsilva dsilva Apr 3, 2016 http://mashable.com/2010/09/29/social-media-in-school/#U67n0rsMXGqw
  • I'm a big Scoop.it fan. Maintain two pages: http://www.scoop.it/t/3d-virtual-worlds-educational-technology and http://www.scoop.it/t/integration-and-teaching-ed-tech I want to use Scoop.it pages as the foundation for Personalized Learning Networks (is that a retired topic? hope not) for our teachers. I've tried Twitter feeds at other schools..remember, it's blocked by The Great Firewall here in China... OK for a couple of "feeds," then people get bored with it. I've tried bookmarking tools like Delicious...gets to be a big mess real quick. ;) Picture teachers of each subject maintaining their own curated magazines of topics. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • - RollandK RollandK Apr 9, 2016Schools are Educational Institutions that educate and mentor, not the other institution that locks down. Our job is to inform students on best practices of social media and use it for engagement and instruction.
  • I have no doubt that over time social media will become essential to all aspects of k-12 education because social media are, ultimately, communications technologies that cannot be ignored. Our Australian Screen Content in Education project shows that YouTube is now teachers' preferred system for showing video in the classroom. And many students complement their classroom learning with YouTube tutorials. Other forms will emerge as well become ubiquitous in classrooms: http://australianscreencontentproject.net/
    - dezuanni dezuanni Apr 12, 2016

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

  • How to personalize web pages you share via social networks - dsilva dsilva Apr 3, 2016 http://linkis.com/
  • Risk of social 'networking' for children - dsilva dsilva Apr 3, 2016 http://www.internetmatters.org/advice/social-networking/
  • Possibilities for teacher training. Peer-to-peer in general...I've had students use Scoop.it for classes too. Oh, and I know someone is going to mention Pinterest. Tried it, not as good...for a variety of reasons. Main one is that Scoop.it allows you to curate across platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...and yes, Pinterest too. ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • - RollandK RollandK Apr 9, 2016 Risks and benefits. Online best practices.
  • Social media literacies (subset of digital media literacies) - how educators can assist students to use social media in productive, safe and innovative ways. - dezuanni dezuanni Apr 12, 2016

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

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

  • #EdChat, #EdTechChat, #ADEChat, etc etc - shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016
  • As I mentioned, it's one of my next steps re: training teachers. I'm a bit mystified re: why Scoop.it doesn't do more to tout itself, although they do offer discounts for educators. Is there a big movement in this direction on the horizon? Don't know, but we could get one started! ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • I've co-developed a ten-day online course about global networking for 210 European teachers who are part of eTwinning, a community of schools in Europe. It's a hands-on course on how to connect with like-minded teachers through social networks, how to use content curation tools, leave a positive digital footprint etc. They learn by doing and at the end of the course they will hopefully be more knowledgable (and confident) to teach students how to use social networking sites safely and responsibly. The course started two days ago and you can follow us on Twitter, the hashtag is #etwion (eTwinning Innovation). https://twitter.com/hashtag/etwion?src=hash - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 20, 2016

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