Social networking technologies are an integrate component of learning in today’s world. Students of all ages have so much technology at their fingertips and they can explore the world whereas in the past decades, the only way to explore was to actually be there. With the focus on adult education, being familiar with social networking technologies is a must. Adult learners are younger than they have been in the past. Warshauer and Liaw (2010) state, “A growing number of teenagers and young adults are participating in adult education: 41 percent of adult education students are now younger than 25 years of age and 16 percent are younger than 19 (Welch & Di Tommaso, 2004) (p. 2).
One social networking technology that students should be familiar with are blogs. The starting place with blogs is to begin reading blogs. Blogs can take many different forms from texting, Facebooking, online discussions, to exit learning. Ferriter (2009) reports, “Blogs become a forum for public articulation—and public articulation is essential for educators interested in refining and revising their thinking about teaching and learning (p. 34). The URL that fits this is http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb09/vol66/num05/Learning-with-Blogs-and-Wikis.aspx
I have been a member of the blogging community for a few years. When I first began taking a technology class at my previous school, I was so nervous I would barely touch the computer. As time went on, I began to be more comfortable with technology. I remember well having to blog at the end of each session. I was able to take the blogging concept and turn it into an exit ticket in my classroom over the past few years. Just as I was nervous, I know my students are also. Once I walk them through how to complete the blog, they are more comfortable as well.
Another social networking technology that students should be familiar with is podcasting. Educational Technology Network (2009) states, “Podcasting is online audio content made available through the Internet using a subscription “feed”. Vodcasting (video-on-demand casting) is the same principle as Podcasting with the addition of video” (p.1). The URL that explains this more in detail and gives ways to include this in a classroom is http://www.edtechnetwork.com/podcasting_vodcasting.html
I have not had much exposure to podcasting. In the technology class we were assigned a project where we had to take a digital camera and find items to create a digital storybook. This was fun since we could only use objects which were around the classroom and outside our classroom. I have to admit I am not as comfortable with the podcasting, but plan to include it more in my teaching.
Social networking technology is a part of everyday life for our students. Students are always texting, Facebooking, Instigraming, and using other social media to stay in touch with their friends and family. Being able to use blogging and podcasting is definitely a way to begin integrating social networking into the learning environment. In many cases, our students know more than we do at the adult level.
Educational Technology Network (2009). Classroom podcasting/vodcasting. Technology
Anytime, Anywhere. Retrieved from http://www.edtechnetwork.com/podcasting_vodcasting.html
Ferriter (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5), 34-38.
Warschauer, M., & Matuchniak, T. (2010). New technology and digital worlds: Analyzing
evidence of equity in access, use, and outcomes. Review of Research in Education, 34(1),
179-225. Retrieved from