What is “Social Networking”?
Web 2.0 or the interactive web gives individuals the ability to connect on a global basis anywhere, anytime and anyhow, allowing them to share, to collaborate, to interact and to form new information and contacts. Virtual communities are formed by individuals with a common interest or purpose to share and create content. This content is shared through a variety of Web 2.0 tools.
In an educational sense social networking incorporates many 21st century learning skills, namely; collaboration, knowledge construction, self-regulation, real-world problem-solving and innovation, ICT for learning, and skilful communication (ITL research, 2013). It allows students to interact with information, create knowledge and then communicate that new knowledge to others.
What social networking technologies do I use?
I freely admit to being addicted to Pinterest and must self-regulate my usage. I began experimenting with Web 2.0 tools four or five years ago. I began with Facebook as I wanted to understand my students and my own children’s need to connect, however I quickly became bored with Facebook and the banality of so many comments I just did not need. Already in this unit, I am seeing how Facebookcan be leveraged in another way and this is exciting.
I also use Moodle, LinkedIn, OZTLNET, Twitter and a number of Web 2.0 tools with students like Padlet, Edmodo, Exploratree, Diigo, TodaysMeet and Prezi. I follow blogs that are of interest to me and am a member of a number of wikispaces. For example Blackbird Designs has a blog keeping interested cross stitchers and quilters abreast of their latest designs and patterns. http://blackbird-designs.blogspot.com.au/
The challenge for me is working out what to use without developing information overload. There are so many tools available I have discovered I must choose wisely.
What do I expect to learn?
As a library professional and teacher I believe I recognise the importance of staying relevant to my students, my colleagues and our library’s community. This landscape is continually changing. I have never blogged before having always been a follower, so I am already learning. I want to learn how to use these technologies to best advantage within the school library to create a meaningful, relevant and exciting place to connect and learn.
Expanding Learning Horizons, & Microsoft: Partners in Learning. (2013). 21st Century Learning Design. Presented at the 21st Century Learning Design, Hale School, Perth: Expanding Learning Horizons. Retrieved from http://www.expandinglearninghorizons.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/4pp_21CLD_Flyer_ELH_FA_Desktop.pdf