LeNoue, Marvin Dale; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
Educational Social Software: The Use of Social Network Sites For Teaching And Learning
Major Professor: Dr. Ronald Stammen
Although social network sites (SNS) are in use by millions worldwide, the deployment of such sites as tools for teaching and learning is new. Topics related to the ways, means, and outcomes of SNS use in educational technology. This mixed-methods research project gathered information regarding the use of SNS in education and training settings. Respondents to an Internet survey showed familiarity with a range of social media software, and several had used social network sites including Facebook, Ning, and MySpace in their professional practices. Respondents identified these sites as offering support for communication and community building and rated this affordance as the most useful aspect of SNS for use in educational settings. Privacy control settings were the individual SNS feature identified as most important in the educational use of SNS. Personal publishing, content creation, and multimedia display functions were also rated as important. Respondents supported the utility of social network sites for use in the delivery of education. Themes expressed in the data regarding participant views of the use and importance of various features of educational social software indicated apparent acceptance of SNS-type tools as potential agents of paradigmatic change (as per Kuhn, 1996) in educational domains. Respondents made substantial commitments to working toward support of a new paradigm shaped by the use of SNS and social media tools.