Educational Technologies Blog

Technology plays a crucial role in society. It is an important tool for enhancing adult education and other forms of education. Technology is what enables social sites to evolve in the areas of learning. For example, the use of social sites such as Facebook.com and Ninf.com in adult education is one of the best methodologies for ensuring that learners are well integrated into different topics.

The rationale for choosing Facebook and Ning technologies is that they enhance group formation which makes it easy for learners to share personal experiences, instruction, and good policy during the learning process (Richardson, 2010). Both Facebook and Ning technologies have the potential to enhance adult education, because of their instant messaging function that transcends distance barriers (Baker, 2013). In addition, Facebook and Ning enhance connectivism because knowledge starts with an individual and when this knowledge is fed into a network, it combines with that of other people, to become a cycle of knowledge development (Siemens, 2005). This enables adult learners to share much more knowledge than appears to be present in the information to which they have been exposed (Siemens, 2005).

The use of Facebook allows one to be able to teach. Some examples of how Facebook technology can be incorporated into teaching of online adult learners is creation of online groups, and assigning different topics to these groups to conduct research, and post their findings about the topic (Common Craft, 2012). Another example of how Facebook technology can be incorporated into teaching online is by posting exam questions to online students and allowing them to provide their input toward the question.

Just like Facebook, Ning can be incorporated into teaching online adult learners. Ning can be used to create a forum based on the interests and needs of the adult learning students (Brady, Holcomb & Smith, 2010). For instance, students that perform badly in a certain topic can be grouped together, and assisted based on their needs. Another example of how Ning could be used to teach adult online learners is by instructor using the network to connect weaker students to be assisted by better performing students. Both Facebook.com, and Ning.com offer alternatives to adult learning, because they enable teachers to assist their students, and students to assist each other through discussion forums.

References

Baker, S. (2013). The use of Facebook in ethnographic research: As tool, as data and as context.

Ethnography and Education, 8(2), 131-145

Brady, K., Holcomb, L., & Smith, B. (2010). The use of alternative social networking sites in higher

educational settings: A case study of the e-learning benefits of Ning in education. Journal of

Interactive Online Learning, 9(2), 151-170.

Common Craft. (2012). Social networking in plain English [Video file]. Retrieved from

http://www.commoncraft.com/video/social-networking

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.).

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Chapter 9, “Social Networks: Facebook, Ning, Connections, and

Communities

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning. Retrieved from

http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm

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One Comment

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  1. Hi Leola,
    You have caused me to do some research as I have never heard of Ning. Thank you
    I absolutely love FB so I will compare Ning to FB and let you know what I find, I was nervous about online learning and i am sure that I am not the only one that had these reserved feelings. Therefore anything that can help to connect the adult learners in a positive direction is a great resource.
    Great job!

    Like

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