Online Socialization through Social Software and Networks from an Educational Perspective
AbstractThe potential represented by the usage of Internet-based communication technologies in parallel with e-instruction is enabling learners to cooperate and collaborate throughout the world. However, an important dimension, namely the socialization of learners through online dialogues via e-mail, discussion forums, chats, blogs, wikis and virtual classes, is lacking in the literature. Hence, the aim of this research study has been to investigate; the potential ways in which socialization has been conceived, the effects of educators (in terms of planning and intervention) upon the online environment; and the success indicators for socialization in online settings. The findings of the study show that online socialization depends on the three aspects of student behaviours, content and the learning environment. Moreover, design and management of the social environment, together with the learning tasks and activities, plays an important role in the communication, interaction collaboration levels of students. Hence, it is concluded that evidence within the education system should be sought to make effective use of social environments, introducing such environments to students, being role models for students, effectively designing and managing such environments, and making students more social than ever.