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Call for Chapters: The Social Classroom: Integrating Social Network Use in Education

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Editors

Gorg Mallia (University of Malta, Malta)

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: December 1, 2012
Full Chapters Due: March 1, 2013

Introduction
The incredible change that has come over the very nature of interpersonal interaction because of the worldwide diffusion of social networks is slowly being mapped by researchers, but it is very much a case of reality racing well ahead of our ability to understand it. The impact of, say, Facebook usage on the psychological make-up of users, their approach to social interaction, and their ability to communicate personal happenings, thoughts, and images and make public what would otherwise have been either private, or at least confidential, is enormous. The change is intrinsic and overwhelming, affecting many walks of life and impacting every aspect of society. Social Networking Sites (SNS) create a self-disclosing environment that necessitates a large number of ethical, social, and communicative questions, each of which has been the subject of a growing amount of literature. A large percentage of active users are students of all ages. This makes for an incredibly vast and persistent captive audience, and that is why these predominantly social networks are being considered for a more formal inclusion in instruction. Though SNS tend to defy formal usage in educational settings, there are an ongoing number of discussions and experiments being carried out about their use for teaching and learning.

This book intends to collate a number of international papers reporting on such discussions and experiments. These will deal primarily with how Facebook and other Social Networking Sites can be used in educational and instructional practice.

Objective of the Book
The book will present different viewpoints on how SNS can be integrated in education. This tends to be controversial because Facebook, for example, and quite a few other SNS are intended primarily (some would say "only") as social interaction tools. User motivation seems to go against the imposition of SNS as learning tools, but there are a number of ways, both formal and informal, in which they can be used. The different chapters in the book will explore these different ways, providing empirically researched proof about usage as well as conveying national experiences in the use of SNS in education and instruction. In some cases, the transition to educational practice is relatively easy (as in the case of Wikis and Blogs), but in others the application is difficult and needs to be contrived. These challenges need to be taken on, as the results can be very fruitful. Innovative, creative methods need to be found to ease SNS into instructional usage.

The areas that will be most dealt with in this book are those of education and social interaction, though innovation in instructional design will also be extensively explored. There can be no doubt that the research and individual insights that will be carried in this book will expand learning about this indispensible area. This is a phenomenon that has instilled itself within the very roots of social interaction and is causing deep-seated changes in cognition as well as in the way people communicate (even on the micro, intra-personal level). Analysing how this important area can have a formal or informal role in the design of instruction is something we cannot do without at this point in time.

The book proposes to be a discussion on this usage, as well as a collection of portraits of the use of SNS in different subject areas and with different procedural applications. It can also provide unique perceptions created by a particular nation's usage of SNS. The emphasis can be on Facebook, since it is the largest with 500 million active users worldwide, but other SNS can (and should) also be explored, the unique characteristics of each explained, and how these can be adapted to educational use explored. The integration or peripheral use of these almost ready-to-use SNS can transform student motivation and create a much wider communicative network, both between students and teachers and among students themselves. Once security and privacy issues are resolved (and that too can be an interesting addition to the book), then the design of instruction that includes SNS cannot but contribute directly to learning that fits more the cognitive stance of today's students.

Target Audience
Almost all areas and levels of education and instruction will be touched on in this book. Primary, secondary, tertiary, and lifelong education will be examined, as well as (potentially) industrial training and informal, independent learning. This means that the book will be very useful to all educators and trainers. It should be acquired by academic researchers in all aspects of education: universities (for libraries and courses in education and teacher training), schools (for teacher ongoing training), student-teachers, and  industrial institutions for in-house libraries that benefit training and development trainers. This is a book that will benefit anyone who wants a theoretical/practical approach to certain aspects of resourceful teaching, utilising a free and widespread commodity as an instructional technology.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to the following:
•    Formal integration of FB and other SNS in instructional design
•    Informal uses of FB and other SNS in educational practice
•    Literature coverage of FB and other SNS and their application to education and instruction
•    Tutor and student creation of online resources through the use of SNS
•    The FB Special Interest Group as a communicative source of information gathering and sharing
•    The role of planned supportive use of SNS—social, communicative and educational functions
•    Informal, independent learning through random usage of FB and other SNS
•    Descriptive studies of unplanned SNS support for formal courses
•    International Case Studies on the use of FB and SNS in Education and Instruction
•    Variety of SNS in education test participants—from schoolchildren to university students
•    Use of SNS for industrial pre- and  on-the-job training
•    Applications of FB and SNS in specific areas of study
•    Appended, Supportive, and Random uses of FB and SNS to help foster learning
•    Student-teacher interaction on SNS and its link to educational practice
•    The ethical issues of using social media in educational environments
•    Teacher-to-teacher use of SNS for job related communication and professional development

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before December 1, 2012, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by December 15, 2012 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 1, 2012. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Publisher
This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This book is anticipated to be released in early 2014.

Important Dates
December 1, 2012:          Proposal Submission Deadline
December 15, 2012:        Notification of Acceptance
March 1, 2012:                 Full Chapter Submission
May 30, 2013:                   Review Results Returned
July 30, 2013:                   Final Chapter Submission

Editorial Advisory Board
Gorg Mallia, University of Malta, Malta (CHAIRMAN)
Lisa Best, University of New Brunswick, Canada
Pete Bradshaw, The Open University, United Kingdom
Nikleia Eteokleous, Frederick University, Cyprus
Sue Greener, University of Brighton, United Kingdom
Despo Ktoridu, University of Nicosia, Cyprus
J Ola Lindberg, Mid-Sweden University, Sweden
Anders D. Olofsson, Umeå University, Sweden
Tony Whitefield, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Maria Eugenia Witzler D'Esposito, Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paolo, Brazil


Inquiries


Gorg Mallia

Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.

gorg.mallia@um.edu.mt


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