Understanding the Potentials of Social Media in Collaborative Learning

Understanding the Potentials of Social Media in Collaborative Learning

Adem Karahoca (Bahcesehir University, Turkey) and İlker Yengin (A*STAR, Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7601-3.ch046
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Social media is 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. Thus, players in education field should investigate and understand the beneficial use of social media. This chapter 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).

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