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Affordances and Concerns - Discussion Synthesis by Betul and Jeong
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September 27, 2021 - 11:20 am

Transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 has brought many advancements. In this way, Web 2.0 has enabled using social media in learning more actively and effectively, and its affordances take the attention of researchers and teachers. This week we think about the use of social media, especially Facebook, in learning. As we see in the discussion posts, all of us have a constructivist view of learning by seeing learning as a process generated with experiences and interactions with our social surroundings. All of us agree that social media gives opportunities to express ourselves in a variety of ways and interact with others that lead to learning in some cases.

Another common point is our questioning of whether social media is used with its full potential by educators. At that point, we might ask ourselves how we can use social media in our own classrooms as teacher educators. Although we acknowledge the benefits and affordances of social media/Web 2.0 in learning (Greenhow et al., 2009), we also have some common concerns. Data privacy and security, attention grabbing posts and advertisements, reliability of information, and a possibility of encountering biased information are the concerns that we mentioned. We are aware of these risks and can act accordingly to prevent possible problems. However, how can we be sure that students eliminate these risks in their use of social media for learning and/or daily activities?

Our descriptions of the interactions with social media show that we are generally passive users of social media instead of actively producing content. Our behavior aligns with the main trend highlighted by Manca and Ranieri (2016): “to consume information rather than produce it” (p. 514). What might be the reason for the passive use pattern? Do you think there are certain kinds of qualities to be able to create content in social media?

In the conclusion part, Manca and Ranieri (2013) talk about the assumptions related to expectations of ‘millennial learners’, who grow up with digital technologies, about using digital learning platforms. Even though students are supposed to expect technological adaptations because of using technology frequently in their daily lives, studies show that they do not feel comfortable or enthusiastic about using digital tools (e.g., Facebook). What might be the reason for this situation, and what does it tell us?

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