Social Networking and Personal Learning Environment

Social Networking and Personal Learning Environment

Antonio Fini (University of Florence, Italy)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-984-7.ch017
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In social studies a social network is the set of relations that links people, through their interactions and familiarity of various kind. Today, however, social networking indicates a growing phenomenon, characterised by Web technologies that create and keep together groups of people on the basis of common interests. These tools (social software technologies) include for instance: blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, and offer new opportunities to promote collaboration, to assist conversations, to help in the sharing of knowledge, in work and learning contexts, both formal and informal. Although some of these tools are often used in LMSs, the main idea of this new approach is to consider the advantages coming from general purpose tools, widely available on the net, and characterised by an intrinsic vitality and spontaneity. In this context, also linked to a growing criticism of the current e-learning model, based on the extensive use of VLEs (virtual learning environments), new proposals oriented towards the definition of new models of Web spaces for personal learning (personal learning environment or virtual learning landscape) are being put forward. In these new systems the individual has a central place, in a network of resources and of social and friendly interactions that offer support on the emotional as well as on the cognitive level.

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