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About social networking
A social networking site is an online community that enables people to connect with others that they would have been unlikely to otherwise met. The term "social networking" refers to the practice of expanding social contacts by making connections through other people.
Social networking sites provide platforms for two or more users from anywhere across the globe to build social relations with one another. These social relations are often built through mutual friends, shared interests and/or shared activities. Social network sites also enable users to share ideas, activities, resources, events and interests within their individual networks.
Internet users are able to create profiles that contain various bits of information on themselves, post blog entries, post announcements, search for others with similar interests, and compile and share lists of contacts with other people.
Social networking in the classroom
The following are some ideas on how social networking sites can be used in the classroom:
* Ask the students to form a social networking group around a class topic. Tell them to use the group to post relevant videos, podcasts, etc. and to comment on why they posted them
* Ask the students to form subgroups within the class network
* Set up reading groups using the discussion forums on the social network
These suggestions and more can be found at the Web 2.0 Survival Guide website
Find social networking tools
The following is a list of links to some of the popular social networking tools on the internet.
"Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them"
"Google+ aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Check out Circles, Messenger and Hangouts......."
"Myspace is the leading social entertainment destination powered by the passion of fans. Music, movies, celebs, TV, and games made social"
"Ning is the world's largest platform for creating custom social websites, social networks and communities"
"Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat."
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters.
Examples of social networking use in the classroom
Dalton Middle School: 7th Grade Social Studies
Created by a 7th Grade Social Studies class in Georgia, USA. This page has information to help students learn the material from class, and better understand their world
"A Twitter story created by 140 Elementary and Middle School Students Across the Globe"