Social networking occurs when groups of people, who share a specific concern or interest, connect with each other to share, compare and collaborate with each to expand knowledge, understanding and learning. A community forms that enriches members through sharing, commenting, helping, feedback, advice and support.
Use of Social Network Technologies so far:
I have been using a number of social networking technologies in my role as Primary school teacher since 2006 – most of these technologies stem from the class blog and the resulting connections and collaborations made with other teachers and classes around the world. Social networking technologies have allowed me (and my students) to feel as if we are learning for real purposes and in real or authentic ways.
Social networking has resulted in meeting other teachers and educational professionals from around the world – both in each other’s classrooms and at conferences and in homes. The feelings of being a part of a community, and the responsibilities that entails made the learning that was happening (both for myself professionally and for the students in my classroom) vitally important, meaningful and bigger than just attending school.
Some of the social networking sites I currently use are:
It is interesting to note that it is difficult to separate them into work, personal or study groups as they overlap so much.
Now in my second year as a Teacher Librarian I want to learn how to use social networking technologies to:
- Expand the opportunities of students across the school – to demonstrate and use social networking technologies to connect with information: experts, peers, an audience and collaborators for their learning.
- Support teaches in their use of these technologies for personal professional development and classroom use (to flatten walls and connect to the “outside” world).
- Harness the powers of these technologies to enhance the usefulness and authenticity of the school library in its role of providing information and recreational services to the school.
Expectations of INF506:
I expect to transfer or transform what I know about social networks and social media into a basis for pedagogically sound, innovative and authentic uses in the school library setting.
I expect to see best practice libraries and the uses they have for social media.
I expect to become far more knowledgeable on the legalities and technicalities of using social media and social networks across a whole school setting.
I expect to build a Professional Learning Network of informational professionals who can guide, support and who I can learn alongside of.
I expect to learn and think and collaborate and question and do!
Image: ‘Jump on the social media bandwagon‘ By Matt Hamm