EdTech 541: Week 8: Internet Tools for Community Building & Social Networking

Week 8: Internet Tools for Community Building & Social Networking

Building on our exploration of instructional software last few weeks, we will now begin looking at Internet technologies and their value and use in the classroom. An area of the Internet that is gaining in popularity, especially with the younger generation, is social networking. There can be a lot of learning potential when social media is brought into the educational setting.


Social Networking

Online Communities & Community Building


Integrating Technology into Teaching – 5th Edition

  • Chapter 7: Distance Learning Tools & the Role of the Internet in Education
  • Chapter 8: Integrating the Internet into the Curriculum

Online Learning Communities & Social Networking

It is a fact, the growth in technologies designed to enhance communications has changed the way we interact, with each other and with information, in substantial ways. Swift change often comes with swift reaction. It seems we can’t open a paper or magazine without reading something about the positive and/or negative consequences of online communities, particularly social networking sites that attract so many young people. Whether you agree with their use or not, it is imperative that you understand not only the function of these communities in the lives of young people, but that you can talk intelligently about them, and even perhaps consider using them to further your own professional development. Review the following resources:

Blog: Social Networking and Walled Gardens

Many learning institutions block access to social media and social networking within their settings. Provide a rationale for opening up the walled gardens (see http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/walled_garden.html for a definition). Refer to at least two of the global projects found in the readings (or search for your own) to support your rationale.
Alternative: If you agree with the importance of learning institutions maintaining a walled garden, then you can take that stance in your Blog entry. Just make sure you support your rationale with at least two reference sources.

Assignment: Social Networking and Community Building Assignment
Develop a learning activity for your content area and/or grade level that takes advantage of social media and social networking. In other words, design a learning activity or two that includes ways in which your students can interact directly with people outside of your classroom – other students, teachers, experts, etc. The format of the directions is up to you – lesson plan, step-by-step procedures. Just make sure that any educator could understand your written directions.
Your activity is to include at least three of the following tools:

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