The recent dramatic increase in popularity of social media such as blogs, Twitter, wikis, and 3D immersive virtual worlds is rapidly transforming the teaching and learning process. Equipped with highly accessible communication mechanisms, social media present exciting new educational opportunities for collaboration and interaction. With the instant access to a plethora of information and the easy connection to online communities, student interaction does not have to be kept in the classroom, communication with the class can be extended to the virtual world, and course materials can be easily shared online.
In order to integrate social media effectively in the classroom, we first need to investigate educational possibilities of social media and identify and cultivate best practices in incorporating the technology in instruction. At the same time, we need to address social, legal, ethical issues associated with social media as the ease of use of the technology can also attract harmful interactions and unsafe behaviors such as cyberbullying.
This website presents both the promises and the potential pitfalls of social media to provide educators, researchers, and students with a more balanced outlook on social media and to help them foster safe, equitable, and inclusive online learning environments.