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BRINGING INTELLECT TO SOCIAL – WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL IN THE LEARNING COMMUNITY?

(Image source: rondazg.com)

(Image source: rondazg.com)

Bringing Intellect to Social – What is the Future of Social in the Learning Community?

A few days before now, when I was first confronted and hinted by Michael Falola, a friend of mine from my neighbourhood and a partner on a few businesses at some point of my early practice life, that there was an opening and demand for a Social and Business Administrator/Executive in a product/brand enterprise that was a sort of product and subsidiary to a parent business to which he was Party to as a shareholder and as an Executive as well, I was interested and open to it.

Of course, I was nothing but an appropriate fit for the role and position, given my combined possession of relevant qualification and experience, as well as accomplishments, in the task area it fell into; Michael knew and believed this too, I’d guess, for the fact he had notified and sought me for my interest, but I could not completely assure myself of being a good fit.

More precisely, I’d be a good contender than a fit, as far as I know.

Why?

The reason is this – and it is a fact as well:

Michael’s company is rolling out a Social Media product/brand that will be dedicated to a Learning community, through the product/brand enterprise that a Social and Business Administrator/Executive was being sought for.

At a period when Social Media knowledge and practice itself is still at an early stage of its discovery and development, and the application or deployment of Social Media to Learning has not dated and spanned long or spread wide at all, doing or going into this kind of a thing was definitely to be more challenging, demanding and tougher in terms of ‘task’ and ‘process’ decision making and execution. Notable scholarly and expert records and reports noted Social Media knowledge and practice to have surfaced off Marketing practices and demands, and started to gain prominence in the circles of knowledge and practice around the end of the Twentieth-(20th) Century, between 1980-1990, when the human community began to shift gradually from the practice of a concept of marketing termed ‘transactional marketing’ that was completely driven by a ‘market commodity’ variable and the ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ factors specific to it, to a much relevant and effective concept of marketing which relied on the ‘market consumer or customer’ variable and the related factors specific to it such as those of: ‘personality’ and ‘behaviour’, and as a result termed ‘relational marketing’. We certainly cannot expect the application of Social Media to Learning to have preceded the appearance or discovery of Social Media knowledge and practice itself.

Unarguably, the discovery and development of the concept and phenomenon of Learning in the human community very long precedes the appearance of Social Media; being equally as old as the phenomenon of ‘Social Interaction’ or ‘Socialising’, which is asserted to fall within the category of ‘human behaviour’ concepts, just like Learning itself and the other bulk of peculiar ‘human behaviours’, and has birthed and formed the basis of the ‘concept’ of ‘Social Media’. As such, ‘Learning’ and ‘Social Interaction’ are concepts that have endured and existed long in the awareness and environment of the human community in the general form of culture; so these are things we can say we are much more familiar with, and can easily understand and manipulate to bring about pleasant and desired results on their own; than the much more recently emerging and fairly understood concept and practice of ‘Social Media for Learning’ which in its own functional context is to combine the concepts of ‘Social Interaction’, ‘Learning’, and ‘Social Media’  to create better learning-based interaction and knowledge sharing to improve the learning outcomes among members of the learning community and the human community as a whole, and which the world as a whole is gearing towards exploiting and Michael’s company, as well, is delving and investing its resource in.

So the point is, in reality, given the underlying history and constraints attached with deploying ‘Social Media’ for ‘Learning’, one can hardly speak of being a fit for executing such a mission where only little or no concrete characteristic and practical knowledge on the objective phenomenon or phenomena is possessed by one or reserved with anyone else or in any knowledge archive known or existing; rather than being a fit, it will be more of a struggle to identify related and suitable theoretical and empirical knowledge that will bring about the specific fit – a contender, in a contest to earn the path of victory, ahead of victory itself.

 

(Infographic source: wise-qatar.com)

(Infographic source: wise-qatar.com)

 

On-going debate on the viability of ‘Social Media for Learning’ not only on the local, but on the international level as well, has flagged the potentials and challenges associated with implementing ‘Social Media’ in ‘Learning’. In a debate on the question: ‘How Effective is Learning through Social Media?’; moderated on the platform of a summit titled ‘World Innovation Summit for Education’ (WISE), facilitated and initiated by the Qatar Foundation, where Mr. Dan Sutch of FutureLab, United Kingdom, chaired, and Mr. Abdalla Abdalla of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, U.S.A., and Prof. Ellen Wartella of the Center on Media and Human Development, School of Communication, Northwestern University, Illinois, U.S.A, spoke, the following potentials and demands relating to the use of ‘Social Media’ in ‘Learning’ were higlighted:

[Mr. Dan Sutch]:

(1.) The need to recognise the opportunities provided by the use of social software, both in shared creation of content and wider access to audiences,

(2.) The manner in which Social Media changes the way we interact with knowledge,

(3.) The shift of Education from a broadcast model to one where we understand and make sense of information,

(4.) The need to rethink school organisation to provide a balance between providing information and supporting young people in creating knowledge,

(5.) The departure from a supply-led to a demand-led approach to learning,

(6.) The possibility for people to come together through social media to create more appropriate learning activities,

(7.) The question of what these changes and shift will mean for younger learners and schools,

[Prof. Ellen Wartella]:

(8.) Social Media infrastructures are better utilised by older high school and college students, as younger children are less likely to reached by them,

(9.) Research emphasises that people use Social Media infrastructure for expressing identity and managing social life not necessarily education,

(10.) Research suggests that users can enter multiple communities of friends and manage relationships so that the online world of ‘social groups’ tends to mirror the offline one,

(11.) There are recurring examples of the negative consequences of using Social Media,

(12.) The growing use of existing Social Media infrastructure, such as Facebook and Twitter, by teachers to communicate with students outside the classroom,

(13.) Education-oriented action groups use Social Media to extend their informational and educational outreach,

(14.) There is remarkable opportunity to create educational networks,

(15.) The reality that, earlier technologies rarely met the educational potential expected of them and in this respect, Social Media infrastructures are likely to resemble them. Their potential is in our hands, and we should create it thoughtfully and in collaboration,

[Abdalla Abdalla]:

(16.) The advantages of ease of access, portability of technology, simplicity, and freedom of speech and expression associated with Social Media use

(17.) Using social platforms and other networking sites can help people reach their career goals more easily, while also educating people who may not know much about a particular field,

(18.) Education can take place informally merely through the fact that people are interested in a subject,

(19.) Social Media infrastructures are entering into the employment sphere. Soon the blog will replace the CV,

(20.) Students are already using Social Media to improve their educational skills. The question is how educational institutions can join in the process.

Now, not for me or Michael and his Company alone, for individuals and businesses interested in exploiting the ‘Social Learning’ industry and market, here are critical potentials and challenges to aid decision and provision making alike.

We currently have our social network product up live on beta (for testing only). Here is an opportunity for you to join us too; Individuals and businesses can connect and engage with the University of Lagos community members on our social network: the ‘StrictlyUnilag’. Join and test with us using these link: Click here to do so!

If peradventure you have or think of more potentials and challenges accompanying the use of ‘Social Media’ for ‘Learning’, it will be great to have you share it with me here too. Kindly leave them in the comment or response box below, or email me directly: ceopensage@gmail.com.

Thanks.

AhMed

Chief Executive/Administrator,

StrictlyUnilag™

 

 

PS:

The word ‘Social’ in the Social Media circle is in some cases commonly used as a short for the ‘Social Media’ or ‘Social Interaction’ infrastructure or concept.

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One comment on “BRINGING INTELLECT TO SOCIAL – WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL IN THE LEARNING COMMUNITY?

  1. joseph
    November 18, 2013

    You really know your own stuff… Continue the good operate!

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2013 by in Business, Indie, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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