Our group decided to focus on the very popular trend of social networking and its influence on education in the K-12 Classrooms. Our group has decided to compare and contrast the use of social networking as it plays out in two very different classrooms in two very different counties.


  1. Bullet    Are students using social networking in the classroom?

  2. Bullet    What familiarity do students have with different types of social networking?

  3. Bullet    Are students able to participate in social networking situations?

  4. BulletWhat types of resources do students have available to them inside and outside of the classroom?

  5. Bullet    Does your school have staff that deal directly with technology?

  6. Bullet    What types of social networking are teachers incorporating into their classroom?



SOCIAL NETWORKING DEFINED



The term social network commonly refers to the many personal or professional connections between individuals or groups within a society. These networks can be based on or directly benefit individuals in various areas including friendship, employment, support, values or financial exchange. 


Typically, the success of social networks has relied heavily on both the unseen ties and an effective chain of communication between the individuals or groups that formed the network. However, the evolution of the Internet has completely changed the dynamic of social networking around the world. For example, the development of early social networking sites such as Friendster and more advanced sites like Myspace and Facebook have utilized technology to modify the formula for social networking.


Specifically, these online networking structures have made visible the connections that were not traditionally seen or unable to be fully accessed by the majority of individuals within a given social network. This increased transparency has created a new potential for empowering the growth and benefits social networking.


These online communities give users the ability to view and connect with a desired individual or group and then directly initiate ties or relationships. This pathway for communication creates opportunity to for all people to more easily benefit from the knowledge and skills of others (the social network,) which is often needed for reaching personal or professional objectives.


Many of these social networking sites have been initiated with the specific focus of establishing and maintaining friendships and other personal goals.  These sites provide individuals of all ages with the ability to communicate and connect with others around the world. On the surface these services are providing users of all ages with the ability to make friends and enjoy this new online world.  However, the power, widespread use and the ease of communication through these sites also provides a glimpse into the benefits in the future.


The rapid development of online social networking signals a great potential for growth and impact in areas beyond friendship and personal needs. Through their current use and exploration, users are gaining skills and knowledge that will allow them to bring a set of skills to similar networking structures in the coming years. Even though this online trend is still developing, it signals a great opportunity to use aspects of these networking sites for benefiting areas that could include business, communication, education, government, and trade around the world.

 

TRENDS ANALYSIS - SOCIAL NETWORKING IN K-12 CLASSROOM

Carmella Rodriguez,

Katie Manzanares,

Juliann Ronzio,

Chris Zimber

Frontier Valley Elementary

Kunsmiller Middle School

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