Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 3 (2008)

Exploring the Educational Potential of Social Networking Sites: The Fine Line between Exploiting Opportunities and Unwelcome Imposition

Henk J Huijser, University of Southern Queensland

Abstract

This paper explores potential educational applications of Web 2.0 technologies, and cuts through some of the hype generated around these technologies, as well as around conceptualisations of Generation Y. Web 2.0 technologies both reflect and drive a blurring of the lines between students and teachers, which has a potentially profound impact on learning and teaching in higher education. This paper argues that Web 2.0 technologies, and Social Network Sites in particular, offer exciting opportunities but that educational applications should be based on sound pedagogical principles and driven by empirical research and careful evaluation, if they are to effect meaningful learning experiences for all students.

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