[Air-L] Special Issue: Social Media in Higher Education

Stefan Hrastinski stefanhr at kth.se
Sun Nov 28 08:09:22 PST 2010

Special Issue: Social Media in Higher Education
in The Internet and Higher Education 

The social media hype has created a lot of speculation among educators on how these media can be used to support learning. In this special issue, we would like to explore how social media can be taken advantage of in higher education to support informal and formal learning. It is well agreed upon that most learning takes place outside school in our everyday lives. On campuses, there are common spaces such as hallways, lounges, libraries, and cafés, which support informal learning better than classrooms or lecture-halls. Social media have potential to support learning in both informal and formal settings, as well as creating an entirely new setting in which learning may take place. We can learn a lot from how students are already using such media to support learning in each of these areas.

Although most would agree that emerging social media support learning in new ways, we still know little about how students currently use social media to support learning. Prensky put forth the dichotomy of “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” when arguing that technology has dramatically changed the way students of higher education live and learn. Similar arguments have labeled today’s students the net generation, millenials, homo zappiens, generation M and generation Y – labels intended to differentiate their relationship to and use of technology from that of previous generations of learners.  However, a growing body of literature questions whether there is really a sharp and fundamental break between today’s young people and previous generations in terms of their adeptness with technology and how they learn. Although we see today’s youth using many social media tools, some tools are more frequently used by older people. Similarly, some are readily adopted by students for personal use, whereas other social media tools have been relegated to as-required or as-assigned use and have been met with resistance. Thus, there are many perceptions of the role social media plays in education, some of which are myths and other are realities. We believe it is time to go beyond the simple dichotomies of the digital natives debate in order to understand how emerging social media can support students’ informal and formal learning. We need to move forward from saying that “students learn in new ways” towards conducting rigorous research that can help us understand the role of social media in higher education.

In this issue, we seek articles that present the outcome of rigorous studies of social media use in higher education as well as articles that help provide strong theoretical guidance for the directions future research might take.

Authors are requested to submit manuscripts to The Internet and Higher Education via the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) no later than March 15, 2011. You need to select “Social Media in Higher Ed” when you reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process. Contact the Special Issue Editors if additional information is required:

Dr. Stefan Hrastinski
Assistant Professor
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
stefanhr at kth.se

Dr. Vanessa Dennen
Associate Professor
Florida State University
vdennen at fsu.edu

Deadline for paper submission: March 15, 2011
Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2011
Camera-ready version of accepted papers: July 15, 2011
Publication date: End of 2011

Stefan Hrastinski
Assistant Professor
KTH Royal Institute of Technology &
Uppsala University
Lindstedtsv. 3
SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Office: +46 8 790 65 68
Mobile: +46 739 75 17 47
stefanhr at kth.se

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