For this blog post, I am going to describe two social networking technologies that could be used for the classroom to the benefit of adult learners. The first social networking technology that is useful for adult learners that I would like to explore is You Tube (www.youtube.com). You Tube provides educators and students unlimited possibilities both inside and outside of the classroom ranging from supplemental videos/lectures to professors and students being able to publish their own works. “Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorism and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation” (Social learning theory). So through scientific inquiry, educators are using social networking technologies to improve adult learning and what better way than You Tube. As I am writing this, I am researching the Middle East via You Tube! Thus, students can use it to research, to post assignments, and many other opportunities.
How I would incorporate You Tube in the classroom depends. I would really like to use it to have students post assignments by filming themselves doing skits or projects and then we could play them in class for reflection. Also, students could be assigned to watch lectures and or certain clips on it and or also publish reflections via keeping a video blog instead of a word blog like this.
The second technology on the opposite spectrum of social networking technology is meetup.com. I have found meetup.com useful to myself by finding social interest groups for learning for free. I have attended Italian meetup groups and I was thinking of finding a group for educators as well to talk about trends in education, network and hopefully get into teaching by the next school year (Fall of 2014). For me, as an educator, I would like to give my students a chance to mingle outside of the classroom and give them a group to either make themselves or to join and require that they attend at least once or twice in a class to make sure that their instruction is supplemented by cultural activities or other activities held in English (as I am studying to become an ESL professional). Another idea I have for Meetup.com is more of based on volunteering in the community by offering free or additional ESL instruction and group activities for my students, friends and those in the community. I think this is something I will do once I start hosting students. I have a Russian couple that will be staying with me studying English and possibly a student from Saudi as well. I could start with them and implement a group and meetings for ESL students in Chicago where they can mingle for free and get instruction at the same time.
Learning Theories. (2012). Social learning theory (Bandura). Retrieved from http://www.learning-theories.com/social-learning-theory-bandura.html
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, (2)1. Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm