April 5, 2011

Social Networking and the College Network

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

In 2011, it is almost impossible not to have heard of social networks – if only Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We know that more than half of Canadians use Facebook primarily for personal reasons, but sometimes for business purposes. What about social networking in education? Are social networks useful tools in a teaching or learning?

Social media logos

What do we know about social networking?

You probably know that several organizations and agencies work in the college network to support teachers in integrating IT into education.

Guide to associations and prganizations operating with funding support frop the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport – The integration of IT in college education

Below is a sampler of their offerings on social networking:

One of those IT Partners, APOP (L’Association pour les applications pédagogiques de l’ordinateur au postsecondaire) holds a Professional Development Course on social networking (511-273).

Cégep@distance offers its students its own social network, Osmose. Using this social network in three courses has been the subject of a PAREA funded research program. To learn more about the Osmose social network, read Martine Chomienne’s column ‘A Social Dimension to Distance Learning‘.

La Vitrine Technologie-Éducation conducted a research project (in French) on social networks as well. They look at using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in the classroom and, of course, the issue of security. One of the resources mentioned in this report is the portrait of social media (Le portrait des médias sociaux) by Michel Vincent and the IT Representatives’ Network.

Meanwhile, Profweb has issued a number of columns and stories related to social networks in recent months:

The column ‘Using Social Networking and Social Media – Practical Ideas for Teaching and Learning‘ was penned by Raymond Cantin from an interview with the digital media expert Ewan McIntosh.

The story ‘Tweeting the Benefits of Twitter‘ by teacher Maggie Richmond – Mhairig; and ending on an upbeat note is ‘The World-wide Impact of Problem-based Learning‘ by Nathaniel Lasry.

Answering the Question

To return to the questions asked in the introduction, were you expecting a more precise answer? It’s up to you to find a response by consulting the resources available here.

For more answers to your questions, I invite you to attend the presentation to be made by the associations and organizations of the IT Partners at the upcoming AQPC symposium: Les réseaux sociaux et la pédagogie collégiale : les partenaires TIC ont des réponses á vos questions ! (The IT Partners Answer Your Questions About Social Networks and College Academics). Questions will be fielded in both languages and answers will be given according to the linguistic skills of the presenter. There’s another reason to subscribe to the AQPC symposium in June! Silvia d’Apollonia will be giving a presentation on ‘Connecting Conceptual and Social Networks in Science Education’.

In the coming months, Profweb would like to share educational experiences using social networks with our readers. Are you using a social network in a context of teaching and learning? If so, which one? How does it work? Please leave a message in the comments section below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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