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Social Networking

What is Social Networking?

Social networking sites have been popularised by Facebook and MySpace and provide the opportunity to set up a profile of an individual with photo and description,. The user can then build up a network of other people who subscribe to the site and invite them to become linked to themself. In this way, users build up a network of people they can chat with using synchronous text communication or send messages to (asynchronous text messages). Social networks also allow a range of other media to be embedded into the social network site (e.g. YouTube video or Flickr photos) so that the media (photos, video) is viewable from the social network.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a free online communication tool and has often been described as filling the gap between email and instant messaging. Twitter was only created in 2006 and works on a system of followers and people using status updates of no more than 140 characters (which is the length of a normal text message) to communicate what they are doing or pass on information/links to resources/blogs, etc. It is often referred to as a 'microblogging' tool as is works like a blog but the messages are limited in size, however you can link to pictures, websites, blog posts, resources etc.

 Below is an introduction to microblogging that JISC have produced.

How Can I use Twitter in Education? 

  • Use Twitter to develop your own personal learning network (PLN) so you can connect, share and collaborate with educators across the world.

  • Get feedback on students understanding of a topic - ask them to post the key points of a lesson.

  • Ask students to post questions on a topic or things they require further collaboration on.

  • Monitor the learning process by asking students to tweet updates as they work on a collaborative task.

  • Start a Twitter book club and tweet your reactions to the book as you read.

  • Provide a daily tip like a word of the day, book, useful fact or helpful resource.


Case Study

On the website below are a number of case studies on using technology effectively in schools and colleges


Web Resources

A to Z of Social Media for academia

What is Twitter?

Microblogging - JISC guide

Teaching with Twitter

Using twitter in the classroom - a maths probability lesson:

100 ideas of how to use twitter in the classroom

Link to Research on Twitter and Microblogging:

Twitter in Higher Education

The Ultimate Guide to Twitter



Scholarly Articles

Albayrak, D., & Yildirim, Z. (2015). Using social networking sites for teaching and learning: Students' involvement in and acceptance of facebook® as a course management system.Journal of Educational Computing Research, 52(2), 155-179.

Bosch, T. E. (2009). Using online social networking for teaching and learning: Facebook use at the university of cape town. Communicatio, 35(2), 185-200. ​

Hamid, S., Waycott, J., Kurnia, S., & Chang, S. (2015). Understanding students' perceptions of the benefits of online social networking use for teaching and learning. Internet and Higher Education, 26, 1-9.

King, D. L., & Brown, S. W. (2009). Emerging Trends, 2.0, and Libraries. The Serials Librarian, 56(1-4), 32-43.

Milošević, I., Živković, D., Arsić, S., & Manasijević, D. (2015). Facebook as virtual classroom - social networking in learning and teaching among serbian students. Telematics and Informatics, 32(4), 576-585.

Ryberg, T., & Christiansen, E. (2008). Community and social network sites as Technology Enhanced Learning Environments. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 17(3), 207-219.




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