Social Networking, Adult Learning Success and Moodle

Social Networking, Adult Learning Success and Moodle

Margaret Martinez (The Training Place Inc., USA) and Sheila Jagannathan (World Bank Institute in Washington DC, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-984-7.ch063
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Abstract

We know that technology is rapidly changing the world and it is hard to keep up. Social networking is the latest online trend we need to learn about. This chapter will consider the enormous changes that impact learners of all ages and offer some insights and resources for those professionals who want to provide more than just another lonely online learning experience. Social networking activities – including sites, blogs, chats, forums and wikis - are emerging to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing among adult online learners. The loneliness of the Web 1.0 is passé and the read-only, passive mode of adult learning is fading away. The term Web 2.0 has been used to describe all the new applications useful for a new collaborative or social approach to sharing and repurposing Web content to learn. Just as communities were important in prehistoric times, today online communities are an inherent and critical part of the Web learning experience. Implicit in most Web 2.0+ applications are social activities which help users network, share, create content, seek or research information, or contribute and interact with others. Youthful online learners are a driving force in this new social change, a change that adults can learn from and embrace. Our young Web users find technology is second nature and are unconsciously changing the paradigm of online learning as they communicate and socialize in a variety of new ways on the Web. Many adults are already following this trend. However, these ways of learning can only become mainstream only when many more adults who are responsible for adult learners learn to use the host of networking tools available. Moodle is an example of a popular open source application used successfully by many around the world. Understanding how to support collaborative online learning activities successfully can offer a huge leap towards greater online learning confidence, contribution and achievement. More is yet to come to change the paradigm of online learning and social networking in the future.

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