SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES AS A NEW PARADIGM OF E-LEARNING COMMUNITIES 2.0 WITH EDUCATIONAL AIMS IN UNIVERSITY TEACHING
Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:With the pedagogical reformulation involved by the application of the new European Space for Higher Education, the need to apply new teaching methodologies, in which new technologies must play an essential role, was questioned at no time along this adaptation period. Learning communities and, more precisely, social networks allow contact between members of the university community sharing common educational interests and teaching/training contents. This contact allows overcoming traditional learning/teaching strategies characterized by individual student-student and student-teacher relationships by introducing new relational schemes. The magnet effect of these social networking websites, unrelated to academic interest, is one of the reasons behind their current success amongst students. However, we suggest taking advantage of the usefulness of these networks for educational purposes in a broad sense. This beneficial effect would be based not only on their ease of use but mainly on the social magnet effect they produce amongst students. These networks encourage them to get online, not for academic purposes, but because these networks provide them with objects of their interest such as their own and their classmates’ personal profiles, which define and identify them by means of varied texts and multimedia elements. Although these new social non-teaching relations prove themselves a basic part of informal learning, the possibilities offered by these networks for formal learning/teaching should be studied as means to consolidate both learned knowledge and practiced skills. The university community (including professors) should try to make the most of this need for social communication and students’ open-mind when meeting through these social networking websites with the aim of activating them as true teaching platforms, not only as mere databases and messaging software.
Keywords: Social Networking Websites, E-Learning, University Teaching.