Unit 3: Create a strategy for using a site in your class

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Social networking header.jpg

Unit 3 Activities

In the last unit, we looked at many of the features available to students and educators within the online social networking sphere, and identified potential drawbacks. In this section we will be looking at some examples of how teachers and learners are already using social networking sites to enhance education. Then, we'll be thinking about solidifying your plans to create a learning space for your classes, perhaps by modifying one of the examples we look at here, or starting from scratch using your own goals as your guide.

Facebook group example.jpg

Learning Objectives

  • You will adopt a strategy for using one or more appropriate features selected from a social networking site in your class.

Readings and Cases

  • Wisswell, F. (Oct. 2007). Faculty use FaceBook as Learning Tool. Cm-life.com: The Independent Voice of Central Michigan University. [[1]]

  • Foster, A. (2007). Professor Avatar. Chronicle of Higher Education, 54(4), A24-A26. [[2]] I have copied this article into a PDF for your viewing ease here: Media:Professor Avatar.pdf

  • Meister, J. (Oct. 2007). Social Networking meets Corporate Learning. Chief Learning Officer magazine. [[3]]

  • Visit this active Ning group for vocational educators. Here they are sharing ideas and tools for incorporating Web 2.0 tools into education. [[4]]
    • This is an example of how social networking sites can be used for professional development, global collaboration, and ideal sharing.

Strategy Building & Reflection

Take a moment to write down your goals for using a social networking site in your class in your learning journal. Consider the questions below as guides.

Creating a strategy for using social networking sites with your classes

  • Are there features presented in the case studies that you like and could see using with your students?

  • What are you hoping to accomplish by incorporating this medium into your class?
    • Increased social presence?
    • Increased cognitive presence?
    • Team building?
    • A collaborative space for students and instructors?
    • Immediate feedback to ideas and answers?
    • Hosting an entire course through this medium or just providing an additional space for idea sharing and collaboration?
    • Fostering increased student: student interaction?
    • Fostering increased student: teacher interaction?
    • Fostering increased student: content interaction?

  • Considering these goals and your own instructional goals, which of the sites we’ve visited will best suit yours and your learner’s needs?

Reference Text

Garrison, D.R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-Learning in the 21st Century. London: Routledge Falmer.


Header image taken from cover of report by: National School Boards Association. (2007) Creating and Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking. Alexandria, VA: Vockley & Lang


Move on to Unit 4: Creating your learning space

Back to course main page: An Introduction to Using Social Networking Sites in Education

Feel free to view the workspace for this course on Caelynn's Portfolio Page