Using Social Software for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Using Social Software for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Petros Lameras (Research Centre of the University of Sheffield and CITY College, Greece), Iraklis Paraskakis (South East European Research Centre, Greece) and Philipa Levy (University of Sheffield, UK)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-984-7.ch067
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on discussing the use of social software from a social constructivist perspective. In particular, the chapter explains how social constructivist pedagogies such as collaborative learning and communities of practice may be supported by the adoption of social software tools. It begins by briefly discussing the social constructivist perspective considering certain pedagogies such as collaborative learning and communities of practice. Then, it explains how these pedagogies are reflected in actual practice by using a variety of social software tools such as discussion boards, blogs and wikis. Finally, the chapter presents the implications of using social software based on the impact of certain factors such as teachers’ understandings of, and beliefs about, teaching in general. The purpose of this chapter is to support higher education practitioners in theoryinformed design by distilling and outlining those aspects of social constructivism that addresses the use of social software tools. It is perceived that a gradual introduction of social software to institutional Virtual Learning Environments, with a strong focus on collaborative learning processes and engagement in online learning communities, will highlight the need for discursive tools, adaptability, interactivity and reflection.

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