About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6297-6310
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON HIGHER EDUCATION: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH

E. Romero Frías1, J.L. Arquero2

1Universidad de Granada (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
Background. Over the course of the last few years, social media technologies such as blogs, microblogs, digital videos, podcasts, wikis, and social networks, have seen a dramatic increase in adoption rates, especially among new generations. The so called Web 2.0 services are remarkably effective in connecting people and in facilitating the exchange of information. These tools are described as social media technologies or social software, underlining their ability to facilitate the establishment of relationships and the development of networks. Social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook or MySpace have proved to be extremely popular among students. Pegrum (2009, p. 27-28) states that “the reality is that students are already using social networking sites (SNS) and the educators have the choice to work with or against them. The advantage of the former strategy is that it is possible to openly address concerns over Internet safety or time spent online, attempting to provide guidance in such areas.” However, the development of digital literacy is not the unique and main advantage. Social software characteristics and SNS in particular fit well the requirements of a social constructivist approach to education.

Aims. Given the apparent synergy between the technological characteristics of SNSs and the models of learning being actively promoted in Spanish and European Higher Education, the main research question being investigated is whether the use of SNSs could contribute significantly to the development of basic skills, required by new education models, under a social constructivist pedagogy

Sample – method. From this standpoint, a social network, with restricted access only to registered students, is established to develop an International Accounting course with the purpose of assisting learners in developing a set of transversal skills that are essential in becoming a qualified accountant. Around 140 students, belonging to two different classes, participate in the project and share a common virtual space in the SNS. Students are evaluated through final examination and, additionally, through optional assignments and participation in the class and the SNS.

Results. The experience, according to students’ opinion, was deemed as quite positive. Close to 80% of students would prefer the use of SNS as first option if they had to enrol again in the subject. In their opinion the experience contributed to a higher implication in the subject, a deeper collaboration with other students and the teaching staff as well as to a deeper learning with a strong emphasis in the collaborative aspect. In their opinion, the use of SNS for academic purposes is a recommended tool.
@InProceedings{ROMEROFRIAS2009THE,
author = {Romero Fr{\'{i}}as, E. and Arquero, J.L.},
title = {THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON HIGHER EDUCATION: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {6297-6310}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Romero Frías AU - J.L. Arquero
TI - THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON HIGHER EDUCATION: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 6297
EP - 6310
ER -
E. Romero Frías, J.L. Arquero (2009) THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ON HIGHER EDUCATION: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 6297-6310.
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