Special Issue "New Media and Social Learning"

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A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gráinne Conole (Website)

School of Education, University of Leicester, 21 University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RF, UK
Interests: e-learning; technology enhanced learning; learning design; open educational resources; social and participatory media; learning theories; e-learning strategy and policy; theory and methodology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

New technologies offer a plethora of ways in which learners can interact with rich multimedia and communicate and collaborate. Social and participatory media now enable learners to connect beyond the classroom on a global scale. Crowd sourcing and citizen inquiry are two ways in which social media are being harnessed, utilizing the power of a distributed networked community of learners and teachers. Mobile devices mean that learning anywhere and anytime is now a reality. These technologies can facilitate a broad range of pedagogical approaches; from use of mobile Apps to support drill and practice through to constructivist, situative and connectivist pedagogies. This special issue will explore these phenomena and will consider the implications for learners, teachers and institutions. Papers are welcome on topics on this theme. Papers on empirically based studies or theoretical perspectives are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Gráinne Conole
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • social and participatory media
  • learning design
  • open approaches
  • pedagogies
  • interaction
  • communication and collaboration

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Language in the Wild—Living the Carnival in Social Media
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(4), 871-892; doi:10.3390/socsci3040871
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 October 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents results from an intervention case study at upper secondary level, in which Blogger was introduced during English class. The overarching interest was to explore the students’ social performances and their interplay with students’ uses of language across multiple forms [...] Read more.
This study presents results from an intervention case study at upper secondary level, in which Blogger was introduced during English class. The overarching interest was to explore the students’ social performances and their interplay with students’ uses of language across multiple forms of literate activities in blogging. The study draws on a sociocultural perspective, taking a particular interest in language as a meditational tool for communication and interaction in the students’ own digital vernacular practices. Goffman’s dramaturgical approach including the concepts of performance and role distance in front and back regions together with Bakhtin’s notion of carnival were invoked as analytical tools for the analysis of video material as well as ethnographic scraping of online content in the blog. It was found that the students presented a witty, humorous image of themselves, while playing around with language as well as bringing in manipulated media for mockery and self-irony. Analytically speaking the students were living the carnival by utilizing a norm-breaking language—a language in the wild. Though this in-depth study presents a limited number of students’ blogging, the findings contribute to an increased understanding of the in situ creation of a blogger text providing a basis for discussing the uses of language in social media and what this implies for learning languages and for teaching practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)
Open AccessArticle Yahoo! Answers as a Space for Informal Language Learning
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(4), 841-853; doi:10.3390/socsci3040841
Received: 4 June 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
PDF Full-text (431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Online social spaces, where users can exchange information, opinions and resources, have achieved wide popularity and are gaining attention in many research fields, including education. Their actual potential support to learning, however, still requires investigation, especially because portals can widely differ as [...] Read more.
Online social spaces, where users can exchange information, opinions and resources, have achieved wide popularity and are gaining attention in many research fields, including education. Their actual potential support to learning, however, still requires investigation, especially because portals can widely differ as concerns purpose and internal structure. This paper aims to contribute in this respect, by concentrating on question answering, a kind of social space not yet widely discussed in education. We analyzed a small corpus of posts from the Languages section of Yahoo! Answers Italy, checking if the questions reveal some inclination to learning or just the desire to obtain a service and if the answers provided by the community members can be considered as reliable sources of knowledge. Our analysis highlights the presence of a variety of question/answer types, from mere information exchange or help for task completion, up to language-related questions prompting valuable short lessons. The quality of answers may widely vary as concerns pertinence, correctness and richness of supporting elements. We found a high number of purely task-oriented questions and answers, but also a higher number of learning-oriented questions and correct, informative answers. This suggests that this kind of social space actually has valuable potential for informal learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)
Open AccessArticle Gathering the Voices: Disseminating the Message of the Holocaust for the Digital Generation by Applying an Interdisciplinary Approach
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(3), 499-513; doi:10.3390/socsci3030499
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the Gathering the Voices project is to gather testimonies from Holocaust survivors who have made their home in Scotland and to make these testimonies available on the World Wide Web. The project commenced in 2012, and a key outcome [...] Read more.
The aim of the Gathering the Voices project is to gather testimonies from Holocaust survivors who have made their home in Scotland and to make these testimonies available on the World Wide Web. The project commenced in 2012, and a key outcome of the project is to educate current and future generations about the resilience of these survivors. Volunteers from the Jewish community are collaborating with staff and undergraduate students in Glasgow Caledonian University in developing innovative approaches to engage with school children. These multimedia approaches are essential, as future generations will be unable to interact in person with Holocaust survivors. By students being active participants in the project, they will learn more about the Holocaust and recognize the relevance of these testimonies in today’s society. Although some of the survivors have been interviewed about their journeys in fleeing from the Nazi atrocities, for all of the interviewees, this is the first time that they have been asked about their lives once they arrived in the United Kingdom. The interviews have also focused on citizenship and integration into society. The project is not yet completed, and an evaluation will be taking place to measure the effectiveness of the project in communicating its message to the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)
Open AccessArticle On the Design of Social Media for Learning
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(3), 378-393; doi:10.3390/socsci3030378
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 22 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
PDF Full-text (116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents two conceptual models that we have developed for understanding ways that social media can support learning. One model relates to the “social” aspect of social media, describing the different ways that people can learn with and from each other, [...] Read more.
This paper presents two conceptual models that we have developed for understanding ways that social media can support learning. One model relates to the “social” aspect of social media, describing the different ways that people can learn with and from each other, in one or more of three social forms: groups, networks and sets. The other model relates to the ‘media’ side of social media, describing how technologies are constructed and the roles that people play in creating and enacting them, treating them in terms of softness and hardness. The two models are complementary: neither provides a complete picture but, in combination, they help to explain how and why different uses of social media may succeed or fail and, as importantly, are intended to help us design learning activities that make most effective use of the technologies. We offer some suggestions as to how media used to support different social forms can be softened and hardened for different kinds of learning applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)
Open AccessArticle Implementing a Mobile Social Media Framework for Designing Creative Pedagogies
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(3), 359-377; doi:10.3390/socsci3030359
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 7 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rise of mobile social media provides unique opportunities for new and creative pedagogies. Pedagogical change requires a catalyst, and we argue that mobile social media can be utilized as such a catalyst. However, the mobile learning literature is dominated by case [...] Read more.
The rise of mobile social media provides unique opportunities for new and creative pedagogies. Pedagogical change requires a catalyst, and we argue that mobile social media can be utilized as such a catalyst. However, the mobile learning literature is dominated by case studies that retrofit traditional pedagogical strategies and pre-existing course activities onto mobile devices and social media. From our experiences of designing and implementing a series of mobile social media projects, the authors have developed a mobile social media framework for creative pedagogies. We illustrate the implementation of our mobile social media framework within the development of a new media minor (an elective set of four courses) that explicitly integrates the unique technical and pedagogical affordances of mobile social media, with a focus upon student-generated content and student-determined learning (heutagogy). We argue that our mobile social media framework is potentially transferable to a range of educational contexts, providing a simple design framework for new pedagogies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)

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