Understanding the Potentials of Social Media in Collaborative Learning

Understanding the Potentials of Social Media in Collaborative Learning

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch623
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Social media is globally used daily on many occasions to form communities. More than just being a place for connecting people to larger communities, social media has become a platform technology to enable creating and sharing knowledge. Social media is a potential technology to improve collaborative learning practices, especially. Thus, players in education field should investigate and understand the beneficial use of social media. This article illustrates the potential benefits of using social media in collaborative learning. Collaborative learning with social media technology is analyzed with extensive examples from the research studies. These examples are carefully reviewed by providing a critical analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of the social media on learning.
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Social Media

Before starting to talk about social media, it should be defined with a clear distinction from the interchangeably used terms such as “social networking”. Social networking is defined in Meriem-Webster dictionary as “forms of electronic communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users creates online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”. The same dictionary defines the social media as “a creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online”.

Several authors defined “social networking” as a venue for users to share their activities and interests with others in a particular community (Fenton, 2012). Social networking allows users to have an online profile in a bounded system to connect with other users to communicate and collaborate (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).

Different authors defined “social media” as a way of creative expression (Gauntlett, & Thomsen, 2013; Zagalo & Branco, 2015), exchanging user-generated content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010), spreading and sharing meaningful and valuable content (Jenkins, Ford, & Green, 2013) in a culture of collaboration and connectivity (Dijck, 2013) using web technologies such as web 2.0 (Power 2007 ;Tuten 2008 & Brown 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web 2.0: The platform technology that allows making connections through users and user communities to enable users to publish and share user generated.

Social media: The services that allow users to generate and share content online.

Social Networking: The services that allow to managing the relationships in online social communities.

21st Century Learning: Cognitive skills required to address the demands and challenges of the 21st century (e.g. creativity and Innovation -inventive thinking, cross-cultural understanding -global awareness and cross-cultural skills, critical thinking, effective communication, collaborating, the flexible & self-directed learning, skills related to being information and communication technology literate).

Collaborative Learning: The type of learning experiences or learning strategies that allow learners to create knowledge and meaning in a form of social construct.

Knowledge Economy: Economic models that based on the growth dependent on the knowledge to generate values.

Web 1.0: This is the first stage of the internet that only allows the static content publication with no option for direct modification and/or creation of content by other users.

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