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W6 Q1_ Jeong
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October 7, 2021 - 11:48 pm

The two premises I would like to make are that the social network sites has several affordances, but it is neutral in itself. Rather than social network sites were developed for educational purposes or learning, users who use it as a tool should adopt features that are helpful for learning. Also, the other premise is that, as we discussed in the last class, the term learning is viewed as a broad and dynamic concept that involves not merely absorbing knowledge, but through interactions between people and building the ability to construct information and knowledge on their own.
As noted in Ellison et al. (2007), Facebook, one of social networks sites, has a feature that bridging social capital and these “weak ties may provide additional information and opportunities (p. 1163)”. In this paper, it lacks the quality and quantity of additional information students may receive through Facebook, so it needs future studies on this topic. However, according to the paper, these benefits allow college students to get more out of college life (Ellison et al, 2007), and in this sense, those willing to learn and be informed can use Facebook affordances as a learning tool.
Additionally, as an example of the Hot Dish “combining up to date climate change knowledge with action strategies in an online social context produced synergy (Robelia et al., 2011, p. 570)”, social networking applications shows the potential for learning-purpose within a much more active and broader concept.

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October 9, 2021 - 1:44 pm

Hi Jeong,
Can you say a bit more about what you mean by “neutral” in your claim: “…social network sites has several affordances, but it is neutral in itself”? Thank you so much for clarifying!
Chris

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October 9, 2021 - 9:17 pm

Hi, thanks for asking. Of course, social networking platforms are created by people, so they cannot be completely or perfectly neutral, but I wanted to say that learning outcomes can vary depending on who uses them, for what purpose, and how to use them for education. By taking advantage of the affordances of social networking sites, such as maximizing communication with people, some people may abuse them for crimes, or meaningful learning may not occur at all even though it increased the frequency of conversations. However, some people can use this as an opportunity to actively contribute to their learning, such as construct their own knowledge and gathering information through a network with people.

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