Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘online social netwroks’

Do people collaborate more effectively using computers than face to face?

Wadhah Amer Hatem, Alan S Kwan & John C Miles (2012) A Comparison of Face to Face and Computer Mediated Collaboration, Advanced Engineering Informatics, February 2012

In the construction industry, the need for collaboration between people who are geographically remote is a reoccurring feature. The traditional way of dealing with this is collocation but this is expensive and disruptive and so increasingly, use has been made of remote collaboration using computational technology over networks. To assess whether or not such computer mediated collaboration is effective, a carefully controlled set of experiments has been undertaken using ten groups of two people who are required to work on a partially developed design task. The work is undertaken using computer mediated communication supported by a 3D CAD package. As a control, the same people have also undertaken a similar design task working face to face. The results show that, for the type of design task involved, people collaborating using computer mediated communication, at worst are as effective as people working face to face and probably are slightly more effective.

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What are the Opportunities in Human-centric Sensing?

Mani Srivastava, Tarek Abdelzaher, and Boleslaw Szymanski (2012) Human-centric Sensing, Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society, 370 ser. A (1958), 2012 pp. 176-197

The first decade of the century witnessed a proliferation of devices with sensing and communication capabilities in the possession of the average individual. Examples range from camera phones and wireless GPS units to sensor-equipped, networked fitness devices and entertainment platforms (such as Wii). Social networking platforms emerged, such as Twitter, that allow sharing information in real time. The unprecedented deployment scale of such sensors and connectivity options usher in an era of novel data-driven applications that rely on inputs collected by networks of humans or measured by sensors acting on their behalf. These applications will impact domains as diverse as health, transportation, energy, disaster recovery, intelligence, and warfare. This paper surveys the important opportunities in human-centric sensing, identifies challenges brought about by such opportunities, and describes emerging solutions to these challenges.

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What is the social learning involved in playing Minecraft?

 John Banks, Jason Potts (2010) Towards a cultural science of videogames: evolutionary social learning, Cultural Science, Vol 3, No 1 (2010)

This paper outlines a cultural science approach to videogames. Using the example of the independently developed Minecraft, we examine the dimensions of social learning involved in playing videogames that are characterised by relatively unscripted gaming environments. We argue that a cultural science approach offers an analytic framework grounded in evolutionary externalism, social learning and emergent institutions. We develop this framework by proposing a multiple games model of social learning.

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Can Google Apps support a Professional Learning Community?

Barbra Kaimuloa Bates (2011) Using Google Apps in Professional Learning Communities, Educational Technology University of Hawaii at Mānoa Kailua-Kona, Hawaii USA

Being an educator presents challenges, especially when communication is a barrier. Google Apps provide collaboration tools which allow teachers to create, share, collaborate and publish work within their Professional Learning Community (PLC). All documents and revisions saved on Google Apps are easily accessible for each collaborator, eliminating This project sought to implement an instructional design module that can serve as an orientation for new users of Google Apps, so that teachers will be able to gain an understanding of the tools and adopt them into their PLC. Voicethread presentations were embedded into the web-based modules so users would be able to view step-by-step procedures as a tutorial for Google Apps. The project was delivered in a hybrid approach, both synchronous and asynchronous, since teachers’ technology abilities vary. Ten public school teachers participated in and tested the web-based module and its effectiveness was evaluated in a survey completed by participants after they finished the module. Post survey results indicated positive reactions to using Google Apps as a collaboration tool in their PLC, although they have expressed concern that without total “buy in” amongst their colleagues, the collaboration tool would not be effective.

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Does age determine willingness to participate in online communities?

Jae Eun Chung, Namkee Park, Hua Wang, Janet Fulk, Margaret McLaughlin (2010) “Age differences in perceptions of online community participation among non-users: An extension of the Technology Acceptance Model”, Computers in Human Behavior 26 (2010) 1674–1684

This study examined age differences in perceptions of online communities held by people who were not yet participating in these relatively new social spaces. Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), we investigated the factors that affect future intention to participate in online communities. Our results supported the proposition that perceived usefulness positively affects behavioral intention, yet it was determined that perceived ease of use was not a significant predictor of perceived usefulness. The study also discovered negative relationships between age and Internet self-efficacy and the perceived quality of online community websites. However, the moderating role of age was not found. The findings suggest that the relationships among perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and intention to participate in online communities do not change with age. Theoretical and practical implications and limitations were discussed.

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How can influence be measured on Twitter and other Social Media?

Daniel M. Romero, Wojciech Galuba, Sitaram Asur, Bernardo A. Huberman (2010) Influence and Passivity in Social Media, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2011, Volume 6913/2011, 18-33

The ever-increasing amount of information flowing through Social Media forces the members of these networks to compete for attention and influence by relying on other people to spread their message. A large study of information propagation within Twitter reveals that the majority of users act as passive information consumers and do not forward the content to the network. Therefore, in order for individuals to become influential they must not only obtain attention and thus be popular, but also overcome user passivity. We propose an algorithm that determines the influence and passivity of users based on their information forwarding activity. An evaluation performed with a 2.5 million user dataset shows that our influence measure is a good predictor of URL clicks, outperforming several other measures that do not explicitly take user passivity into account. We also explicitly demonstrate that high popularity does not necessarily imply high influence and vice-versa.

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What are the effects of teacher self-disclosure via Facebook on student learning?

Joseph P. Mazer, Richard E. Murphy & Cheri J. Simonds (2007) I’ll See You On ‘‘Facebook’’: The Effects of Computer-Mediated Teacher Self-Disclosure on Student Motivation, Affective Learning, and Classroom Climate, Communication Education Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 1-17

This experimental study examined the effects of teacher self-disclosure via Facebook on anticipated college student motivation, affective learning, and classroom climate. Participants who accessed the Facebook website of a teacher high in self-disclosure anticipated higher levels of motivation and affective learning and a more positive classroom climate. In their responses to open-ended items, participants emphasized possible negative associations between teacher use of Facebook and teacher credibility. Participants offered recommendations for teachers regarding the use of Facebook and other weblog services.

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How are students and teachers using Facebook?

Khe Foon Hew (2011) Students’ and teachers’ use of Facebook, Computers in Human Behavior 27 (2011) 662–676

The purpose of this article is to review current published research studies focusing on the use of Facebook by students and teachers. The aim of the review is not to solely discuss Facebook in relation to teaching or learning purposes, or about its educational value per se, but also to present a detailed account of the participants’ Facebook usage profile or the extent to which users are engaged in Facebook activities. The emphasis of this review will be upon empirical findings rather than opinion- or theoretical explanations. The conclusions overall suggest that Facebook thus far has very little educational use, that students use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with known individuals, and that students tend to disclose more personal information about themselves on Facebook.

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What does research say about how young people experience privacy online?

Alice E. Marwick, Diego Murgia Diaz, John Palfrey (2010) Youth, Privacy, and Reputation, Harvard Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Working Paper Series Paper No. 10-29

Much popular writing (and some research) includes descriptions of young people, online technologies, and privacy in ways that do not reflect the realities of most children and teenagers’ lives. Our review of the literature suggests that young people care deeply about privacy, particularly with regard to parents and teachers viewing personal information. Young people are heavily monitored at home, at school, and in public by a variety of surveillance technologies. Children and teenagers want private spaces for socialization, exploration, and experimentation, away from adult eyes. Posting personal information online is a way for youth to express themselves, connect with peers, increase popularity, and bond with friends and members of peer groups. Subsequently, young people want to be able to restrict information provided online in a nuanced and granular way.

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Why should Librarians be on Twitter?

Forrestal, Valerie(2011) ‘Making Twitter Work: A Guide for the Uninitiated, the Skeptical, and the Pragmatic’, The Reference Librarian, 52: 1, 146 — 151

This article highlights the advantages of librarians and libraries establishing a professional or institutional presence on Twitter. This basic introduction to the web service also discusses innovative ways to shape your Twitter account into a successful professional development, reference, and outreach resource.

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How is the explosion of online social media a new opportunity to measure social capital?

Matthew S. Smith (2011) A Computational Framework for Social Capital in Online Communities, A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The explosion of online social media means that it is now possible to collect rich data about people’s connections and interactions, in a completely ubiquitous, non-intrusive manner. Such dynamic social data opens the door to the more accurate measuring and tracking of social capital. Similarly, online data is replete with additional personal data, such as topics discussed in blogs or hobbies listed in personal profiles, that is difficult to obtain through standard surveys. Such information can be used to discover similarities, or implicit affinities, among individuals, which in turn leads to finer measures of social capital, including the often useful distinction between bonding and bridging social capital.

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Does the Structure of Your Brain Reflect the Size of Your Online Social Network?

Kanai, R., Bahrami, B., Roylance, R., Rees, G. (2011) Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure, Proceedings of the Royal Society

The increasing ubiquity of web-based social networking services is a striking feature of modern human society. The degree to which individuals participate in these networks varies substantially for reasons that are unclear. Here, we show a biological basis for such variability by demonstrating that quantitative variation in the number of friends an individual declares on a web-based social networking service reliably predicted grey matter density in the right superior temporal sulcus, left middle temporal gyrus and entorhinal cortex. Such regions have been previously implicated in social perception and associative memory, respectively. We further show that variability in the size of such online friendship networks was significantly correlated with the size of more intimate real-world social groups. However, the brain regions we identified were specifically associated with online social network size, whereas the grey matter density of the amygdala was correlated both with online and real-world social network sizes. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the size of an individual’s online social network is closely linked to focal brain structure implicated in social cognition.

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Is there a real difference between virtual and real friendships?

Zinoviev, D., & Duong, V. (2009). Toward Understanding Friendship in Online Social Networks. International Journal.

All major on-line social networks, such as MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Orkut, are built around the concept of friendship. It is not uncommon for a social network participant to have over 100 friends. A natural question arises: are they all real friends of hers, or does she mean something different when she calls them “friends?” Speaking in other words, what is the relationship between off-line (real, traditional) friendship and its on-line (virtual) namesake? In this paper, we use sociological data to suggest that there is a significant difference between the concepts of virtual and real friendships. We further investigate the structure of on-line friendship and observe that it follows the Pareto (or double Pareto) distribution and is subject to age stratification but not to gender segregation. We introduce the concept of digital personality that quantifies the willingness of a social network participant to engage in virtual friendships.

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