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Online Social Networking and Learning: What are the Interesting Research Questions?

Online Social Networking and Learning: What are the Interesting Research Questions?
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Author(s): Christine Greenhow (University of Maryland, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 17
Source title: Evolving Psychological and Educational Perspectives on Cyber Behavior
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Robert Z. Zheng (University of Utah, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1858-9.ch002

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Abstract

This article introduces a youth-initiated practice: online social networking that is transforming our society in important ways and has vast implications for research concerning online behavior, the social and psychological aspects of online learning and the institution of education. In this paper, the author introduces the socio-technical features that characterize social networking systems and outlines results from preliminary research that suggests the informal social and intellectual practices in which participants naturally engage and how these relate to the competencies increasingly valued in formal education. The paper outlines four overlapping categories for research such as activities and outcomes, tool, place, and medium, identity and communication, and network analytics and methods. Within these categories the author outlines interesting research questions to pursue in documenting and interpreting the complexity of ‘learning’ within these spaces. Goals are to catalyze inquiry that bridges informal and formal learning and stimulate interdisciplinary conversation about where such agendas fit within and advance learning research.

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