Young People and Social Networking Services: A Childnet International Research Report
The project is designed to investigate howsocial networking services can and are beingused to support personalised formal andinformal learning by young people in schoolsand colleges.
The work opens by asking “
What are socialnetworking services?
” This section investigates current
denitions of social networking services and provides
a comprehensive review of current social networkingservice types and activities.In
Evaluating social networking services
, this reportthen describes how to use a toolkit – a social networkingevaluation chart covering six different social networkingservices, and an accompanying checklist, which areavailable to download from the Digizen website:(
) – to evaluate services. The chart is not
denitive, but provides a comprehensive frameworkcovering signicant relevant issues such as site age
restrictions, the presence of adverts, collaborative tools,security issues and data management restrictions.
Benets and opportunities
evaluates the potential
educational benets to individual users, as well as
outlining some of the opportunities that educatorsand schools using social networking services mighttake advantage of. This section looks at issues arounddigital literacy and social engagement, skills and identitydevelopment, and opportunities for better understandinge-safety and data management issues.
Barriers and risks
looks at current barriers tousing social networking services within education,including staff development and support issues, andrisk evaluation and management approaches. Riskareas that educators should be aware of are outlined,and approaches to manage these are addressed.Issues include users’ perceptions of the environmentthey are posting in, personal data management, andcyberbullying and potentially illegal behaviours.
Ideas and examples
showcases innovative practice,providing links to a range of projects and exampleswhere social networking services have been successfullyused to support both teachers and students. Links to
current debates around specic services are
also included.Finally, the
describes some terms that readersmay be unfamiliar with.