Facebook as a learning tool? A case study

Pimmer, C., Linxen, S. and Gröhbiel, U. (2012), Facebook as a learning tool? A case study on the appropriation of social network sites from mobile phones in developing countries. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43: 726–738. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01351.x

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Abstract

This exploratory research investigates how students and professionals use social network sites (SNSs) in the setting of developing and emerging countries. Data collection included focus groups consisting of medical students and faculty as well as the analysis of a Facebook site centred on medical and clinical topics. The findings show how users, both students and professionals, appropriate SNSs from their mobile phones as rich educational tools in informal learning contexts. First, unlike in previous studies, the analysis revealed explicit forms of educational content embedded in informal learning contexts in Facebook. Quizzes, case presentations and associated deliberate (e-)learning practices which are typically found in (more) formal educational settings were identified. Second, from a sociocultural learning perspective, it is shown how the participation in such virtual professional communities across national boundaries permits the announcement and negotiation of occupational status and professional identities.

Via Facebook as a learning tool? A case study on the appropriation of social network sites from mobile phones in developing countries – Pimmer – 2012 – British Journal of Educational Technology – Wiley Online Library.