Social networking has become one of the most popular communication tools to have evolved over the past decade, making it a powerful new information sharing resource in society. To date realising the potential of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) beyond their leisure uses has been severely restricted in a number of areas. This paper focuses on the application of SNSs in a learning environment and the impact this could have on academic practices. While undoubtedly, due to the very casual nature of social networking, there are serious concerns over how it could be integrated in a learning environment; the potential positive outcomes are many and varied. As a communication tool, its effectiveness is already manifesting in the millions who use these networks to communicate on a daily basis. So it is conceivable that educators should be able to create a learnscape - an environment for formal and informal learning - that adheres to educational guidelines, but also harnesses the social support system of these on-line communities. This paper examines the risks involved in the creation of this new learning ecology, and explores the challenges faced by both technology experts and teachers in delivering a truly innovative and effective new approach to education.
|Journal||International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy,|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2013|