Archive for the ‘Social networked learning’ Category
SNAPP is a software tool that allows users to visualize the network of interactions resulting from discussion forum posts and replies. The network visualisations of forum interactions provide an opportunity for teachers to rapidly identify patterns of user behaviour – at any stage of course progression. SNAPP has been developed to extract all user interactions from various commercial and open source learning management systems (LMS) such as BlackBoard (including the former WebCT), and Moodle. SNAPP is compatible for both Mac and PC users and operates in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.
Most of the student data generated from Learning Management Systems (LMS) include reports on the number of sessions (log-ins), dwell time (how long the log-in lasted) and number of downloads. This tells us a lot about content retrieval in a transmission model of learning and teaching, but not about how students are interacting with each other in more socio-constructivist practice. Discussion forum activity is a good indicator of student interactions and is systemically captured by most LMS. SNAPP uses information on who posted and replied to whom, and what major discussions were about, and how expansive they were, to analyse the interactions of a forum and display it in a Social Network Diagram. The following figures illustrate how SNAPP re-interprets discussion forum postings into a network diagram.
Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.
We focused our attention in this research on social network sites because we wanted to understand the types of experiences teens are having there and how they are addressing negative behavior when they see it or experience it. As they navigate challenging social interactions online, who is influencing their sense of what it means to be a good or bad “digital citizen”? How often do they intervene to stand up for others? How often do they join in the mean behavior?
In our survey, we follow teens’ experiences of online cruelty – either personally felt or observed – from incident to resolution. We asked them about how they reacted to the experience and how they saw others react. We asked them about whether they have received and where they sought advice – both general advice about online safety and responsibility and specific advice on how to handle a witnessed experience of online cruelty on a social network site.
When people connect, they begin to share. This happens automatically, an expression of the instinctive human desire to communicate matters of importance. Sharing, driven by need, amplified by technology, reaches every one of us, through our network of connections. We both give and receive: from each according to their knowledge, to each, according to their need. Sharing has amplified the scope of our awareness. We can find and connect to others who share our interests, increasing our awareness of those interests.
We teach children to research, as if this were an activity distinct from the rest of our experience, when, in reality, research is the core activity of the 21st century. We need to think about the era, just a few years hence, when everyone has a very smart and very well connected mobile in hand from birth. We need to think about how that mobile becomes the lever which moves the child into knowledge. We need to think about our practice and how it is both undermined and amplified by the device and the network it represents.
Your students are not alone on their journey into knowledge and mastery. Beside them, educators blaze a new trail into a close connectivity, leveraging a depth of collective experience to accelerate the search for solutions. We must search and research and share and learn and put that learning into practice. We must do this continuously so we can stay in front of this transition, guiding it toward meaningful outcomes for both students and educators. We must reinvent education while hyperconnectivity reinvents us.
Written by Giorgio Bertini
08/10/2011 at 23:36
New technologies that influence how information is created and shared and how people connect and socialize hold promise for adoption in education. The implications for education are significant. Educators have explored the role of the Internet as a research and learning tool for several decades. This special issue of IRRODL provides an opportunity to step back and reflect on how these dramatic social and technological changes impact education. In 2004, connectivism was presented as a new theory of learning that addresses learning in complex, social, networked environments. Since that time, numerous articles, open online courses, and online conferences have explored connectivism’s application in education. As articles in this issue reflect, sharp criticism and support have been offered. We hope this issue will help to advance the discussion, to clarify areas of needed research, and to contribute to ongoing debate about the influence of the Internet on teaching and learning.