Sunday, May 24, 2009

Social Media in Education

In this week’s assigned reading I started with “Web, Library, and Teen Services 2.0” by Kimberly Bolan, Meg Canada, and Rob Cullin. I found this article interesting and learned about RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Commentary and user-driven rating functionality, Blogs, Wikis, Social networking sites (like Facebook & MySpace), Photo sharing sites (think Flickr and Photobucket), Audio and video sites (like YouTube), Personalized alerts, Interactive Web services (think IM), Personalization and “My Profile” features, and Folksonomies, tagging and tag clouds (like keywords). I enjoyed reading how 2.0 can engage teens through social networking sites in a positive way. “Libraries can create accounts on social networking sites to promote events, garner teen input, and link back to the library home page…Public Library, use MySpace accounts to advertise new books. A social networking site can also be an excellent way to connect with teens by linking to popular authors and teen advisory group members with their own accounts or profiles.”

The second article I will comment on was “Neomillennial User Experience Design Strategies: Utilizing Social Networking Media to Support “Always On” Learning Styles” by Derek E. Baird and Mercedes Fisher. The article touches on the vast amount of technology available for use in today’s modern learning environment. In the article abstract the authors explain “Raised in the “always on” world of interactive media, the Internet, and digital messaging technologies, today’s student has different expectations and learning styles than previous generations. This net-centric generation values their ability to use the Web to create a self-paced, customized, on-demand learning path that includes multiple forms of interactive, social, and self-publishing media tools.” I enjoyed reading about the Duke University program and how it incorporated iPods in 2004 to incoming freshmen to “help encourage the use of technology in learning across all spectrums of campus life.” I can see how this program helped to launch the current way in which many professors incorporate classroom activities onto iPods through podcasts etc. The Duke students “found innovative ways to use the iPod, including recording lectures, taking notes, and downloading audio files from their professor’s course Website.” I have a newfound appreciation for the use of this technology, and recently enjoyed submitting a podcast to the instructor of this course on some current events in sport as well as an upcoming outdoor life program. Now I know what is behind these various applications and can appreciate more the effectiveness as well as personal enjoyment that may be attained along the way (i.e. the current list of podcasts that I regularly subscribe to).

The third and final article I will touch on from this week’s assigned reading comes from Alfred C. Weaver and Benjamin B. Morrison titled “Social Networking.” I again gained some insight on the technology that has changed the platform for learning. I have some previous knowledge of the various forms of social networking sites mentioned but learned a lot in particular about Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that I have referenced a few times in papers I wrote in a previous program. One of the things I did not know about Wikipedia is that it stems from a nonprofit organization seeking only “to develop and maintain open content that allows anyone to contribute…” without advertising. Editors are continually monitoring information added to listings and may edit and change what is added or altered around the clock. The reliability of Wikipedia has been questioned and is still a debatable topic. According to the article “Encyclopedia Britannica has released reports claiming that Wikipedia contains more errors than a traditional encyclopedia that experts compile. However, other reports have claimed that Wikipedia is just as reliable as a conventional encyclopedia.”


  1. Out of all the technology that is out there now, I think the only thing that would have done me any good would be usage of an iPod. To have access to podcasts from professors, that would be of benefit. I just put myself back into that time and look at the peers I was in school with. Getting up was hard enough, knowing you had access to the class via iPod, there is no shot I am getting out of bed now! I am just afraid we are going to lose the personal touch of learning and communication that is so important.

  2. I also loved the podcast assignment this week. It was a educational week for me. I am now looking into buying a Ipod, now that I know more about what it can be used for in the classroom setting and for my personal use. Wouldn't that be great to have Ipod's given to us teachers for classroom use. WOW! Imagine the possibilities! Mahalo for your insights on the articles you read this week.

  3. We could honestly survive these days without EVER leaving the house!

  4. The podcast assignment was tons of fun for my first time hearing myself over the computer digitized voice. lol. Anyhow, back onto the topic of Wikipedia, I am like you I love using the site for a quick reference to look things up, but being careful with how much you use is critical because of the fact that anyone could publish their own thoughts and info on it. And as for the ipod usage in classrooms, wouldn't it be amazing if in the future all lectures were done through podcasting! Take care