About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3812-3821
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


G. Casey, M. Wells

Deakin University (AUSTRALIA)
This paper reports on how the findings from an eighteen month secondary school action research study, in which social media was integrated into face-to-face classroom practice, was used to inform a fourth year undergraduate teacher-education unit at Deakin University in Australia.

The school action research study was conducted in an Australian public secondary school; students were aged between 13 and 16 years of age and a total of thirteen classes were involved. In each of the three semesters of data collection, one online social network was shared with up to seven classes and each class had approximately 25 students. Blogs, Groups, Chats, Discussion Forums, Web 2.0 tools and a wide range of student-generated content were shared online, within a class and between classes. Students were encouraged to interact and to share their thoughts and ideas about planning as well as using their out-of-school skills and knowledge. Each topic, within each class, was one action research cycle, using Armstrong and Moore’s (2004) framework. By following Graham Nuthall’s lens on learning, the researcher was able to focus on teaching as being about sensitivity and adaptation: adjusting to the here-and-now circumstances of particular students (Nuthall 2007). Elements of self organisation with spontaneous and strange attractors were identified throughout the study and these made links to Doll’s (1993) post-modern perspective of chaotic behaviour and the complexity of Hayles’ (1990) ‘disorderly order’.

Building on the knowledge gained from this study, the authors integrated a number of the findings into their face-to-face fourth year undergraduate teacher-education unit at Deakin University, Australia. Deakin had recently upgraded to a new online learning management system called ‘Desire2Learn’ (D2L) and the authors used this online system as a means of integrating social media into their face-to-face semester length unit. They examined options to redevelop the unit so as to include a more active student-centred approach, exploring many of the online tools from D2L such as a student’s My Home, Locker, Blog, ePortfolio, Discussion Forums, Chat and Groups. This initial investigation into redesigning the curriculum content in higher education to include more social interaction appears to have encouraged students to share resources more openly and provided them with opportunities to make more informed decisions about their selection and use of media in their teaching practices. Students were encouraged to become risk takers in their use of digital technologies to support the use of iPads, iPhones and interactive whiteboards as well as laptops in their teacher practices and, more generally, into their own learning.

Whilst still being developed, the authors were very encouraged with the possibilities offered, by a more social approach to learning, in relation to activities such as group work, student presentations and classroom reflections. These changes, by the lecturers, in their method of classroom delivery, also appeared to have encouraged a more personal approach to learning.
author = {Casey, G. and Wells, M.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {3812-3821}}
AU - G. Casey AU - M. Wells
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 3812
EP - 3821
ER -
G. Casey, M. Wells (2013) REMIX THE SOCIAL: REMIX THE LEARNING, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 3812-3821.