4.2 Education & Social networks

LinkedIn and Facebook is allowing scientific groups to expand their knowledge base and share ideas, and without these new means of communicating their theories might become “isolated and irrelevant”.

Social networks and education

The use of online social networks by school libraries is also increasing, being used to communicate with potential library users, as well as extending the services provided by individual school libraries.

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Learning uses within education

Educators and advocates of new digital literacies are confident that social networking encourages the development of transferable, technical, and social skills of value in formal and informal learning.

Students who would not normally participate in class are more apt to partake through social network services.

It has been claimed that media no longer just influence our culture. They are our culture. With such a high number of users between the ages of 13-18, a number of skills are developed.

Constraints of social networking services in education

In the past, social networking services were viewed as a distraction and offered no educational benefit. Blocking these social networks was a form of protection for students against wasting time, bullying, and invasions of privacy.

Cyberbullying has become an issue of concern with social networking services, often including a lot of personal information posted publicly, and many believe that sharing personal information is a window into privacy theft.

It is believed that this outpouring of identifiable information and the easy communication vehicle that social networking services opens the door to sexual predators, cyberbullying, and cyberstalking.

In contrast, however, 70% of social media using teens and 85% of adults believe that people are mostly kind to one another on social network sites.

Recent research suggests that there has been a shift from schools in blocking the use of social networking services. In many cases, the opposite is occurring as the potential of online networking services is being realized. It has been suggested that if schools block them [social networking services], they’re preventing students from learning the skills they need.

Schools have the option of educating safe media usage as well as incorporating digital media into the classroom experience, thus preparing students for the literacy they will encounter in the future.

 

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