What are Social Networks?

Today’s web users are prolific creators of content, and they upload photographs, audio, and video to cloud-based social networks, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and many others by the billions. While the initial emphasis of social networks was placed on producing and uploading media to these popular sharing sites, as the notion of social media has evolved it has ultimately become more about the conversations started and relationships formed via this media. When users log in to Facebook and Twitter, two of the sites that have the most subscribers and daily traffic, they are there to see what their family, friends, and favorite brands and organizations are doing and who is talking about what. For educational institutions, social media enables two-way dialogues between students, prospective students, educators, and the institution that are less formal than with other media. New tools, such as Facebook’s social search engine, promise to mine these interactions using a concept known as the social graph. A person’s social graph represents the sum of all of a person’s online social connections (who he or she is friends with, who likes the things she or her friends are interested in, who among those connections is where, etc.) and provides a means to search and navigate those connections. Social graphs can be visualized in a variety of interesting ways, but far more interesting is the information embedded within the social graph and what it can tell us.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • In education today the students gets motivated by the fact that it is not only their teacher that is the receiver of the outcome of an students work. Using social media (for example Twitter, Bloggs, YouTube and more) the students work kan get wide spread. This in it selfe is getting students more motivated to put in that extra bit of hard work. Further more social media connects students from all over the world. That in it selfe makes students able to study together with others that have the same topics.//Edward Jensinger
  • Learnig theories are changing and thay always is an representation of the society they orgin from. Connetivism states that what you can learn is dependent on your network, and i wonder it that may be correct. Do i need to know something or is it enough that i can get what i need when i need it? If i cant sole a problem i will get help to solve it. - stefan.reppe stefan.reppe Dec 7, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Not missing much. But the fact that social media enables students from different countrys tho study together via Skype or Google Hangout will become a important factor I thing. When MOOCs are getting more well spread as a way of study I think that this way also will be used in the field of Homwork.// Edward Jensinger
  • Assesment. THe way we must evaluate our students are limiting the ways we can exploite collaborative learning. - stefan.reppe stefan.reppe Dec 7, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • The big impact I think is that classes will be less and less important. Student can find kins online.// Edward
  • In the long run it may change the school structure, or the school wont be able to prepare the students to the learning metods it will be expected of them when they finish school. - stefan.reppe stefan.reppe Dec 7, 2014

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • There are som small projects going on. And off course we have the EU funded Etwinning that is going rather well.
  • Social networks and unconferences, on and off the net, has become quite a common phenomenon in Sweden the last few years. - stefan stefan Dec 7, 2014

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