1 University of Salerno (ITALY)
2 Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 8221-8227
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0488
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
The social networks have spread in a capillary way in our life as instruments of communication, expression and socialization, influencing the processes of building knowledge, culture and teaching/learning. This pervasiveness is not just about the world of youth, but also about adults, determining widespread practices that are common in the informal environment of everyday life. The potential of these tools leads to a reflection for their integration in the training environments, while highlighting critical elements. Social networks can potentially determine the production and socialization of content, acting as a resource for the renewal of teaching and learning based on social interactions, sharing, collaboration, as a bridge between formal and informal learning.

In Italy, the introduction of digital at school is the subject of initiatives promoted by Ministry of Education, Universities and Research which, in 2015, approved the National Digital School Plan, encouraging schools to use personal devices of learners for educational purposes, banned until 2007.

The objective of this paper is to describe both the positive and negative effects derived from the use of social networks in learning. The reference goes to the theories of connectivism, which enhance the dialogue between peers connected, in a participatory and collaborative model based on the sharing of resources for the active construction of knowledge. According to this theory, the network of people, digital artefacts and shared content determine meaningful and responsible learning. Specifically, the characteristics of the teaching activities that use social media are highlighted, in particular the microblogging that allows a short, incisive communication with simple textual contents, commonly known as messaging. This modality can be used in the training practices to deepen the didactic contents in different moments from the activities in presence, promoting the discussion, the comparison, also to elaborate complex constructs. The present work highlights the peculiarities of microblogging, which determine an implementation to participation and reflective thought, encouraging a learning in heterogeneous situations, closer to the new generations. The contribution also intends to report the benefits gained from the conscious and critical use of social networks in teaching as tools/resources for learning, through the creation of educational paths tailored to the needs of the students.
Social networks, connectivism, microblogging, learning, communication.