Educational Design and Technology

Social Learning

Students develop skill in sharing knowledge and learning with others both in face-to-face situations and through technology

Smiling students at library table


Learning is social. Students must have the opportunity to share their ideas with others, to listen to the variety of perspectives that social learning brings, to solve problems in a group situation, to profit from the expertise of others, and to coach others in areas of their own strength. The interplay of ideas brings about depth of understanding; students’ ideas are both supported and con- fronted as they interact with others.

Good social learning situations do not happen on their own. They must be planned and supported by master teachers. The school library media specialist and classroom teacher must work together to structure cooperative learning groups; to teach group and individual responsibility skills; to offer support and coaching when needed; to set high standards for performance; and to devise individual and group accountability.

[From: Stripling, Barbara K.1996. Quality in School Library Media Programs: Focus on Learning. Library Trends.external link ]

Additional Reading

Jenkins, H., et. al. Confronting the Challenge of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Centuryexternal link PDF file icon (3.79 KB). Chicago: MacArthur Foundation.

Lamb, Annette, and Johnson, Larry. Social Technology and Social Networks. School Library Media Activities Monthly, Jan. 1, 2007.

Authors define social technology as the connection of people for cooperation, collaboration, and information sharing through computer mediated communication environments. Applications known as Web 2.0 are the basis for "social technology" and are especially attractive to children and young adults. Tips on how young people become informed, responsible users of new social technologies are discussed.

Lamb, Annette, and Johnson, Larry. Podcasting in the School library, part 2: Creating Powerful Podcasts with your Students. Teacher Librarian, 34.4: 61-65, 2007.

Rather than spend time confiscating MP3 players from students, integrate them into learning by involving students in scripting, recording, editing, and sharing. Think about connecting Podcasts to library promotions such as book fairs, banned book week, and summer reading programs

Mayer, Brian and Harris, Christopher. Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games. American Library Association, Chicago, IL, 2009.


Web Resources

Lewis, David W. 2009. New York Library Association October 15, 200. David H. Lewis keynote presentation at the NYLA 2009 conference PDF file icon (1.09 MB) Presentation on how social production is changing our world and the Internet makes it possible to accomplish things that were impossible in the past.

Comprehensive EdWeb.net Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking and Content-Sharing Tools final report looking at three primary topics:

    • Educators and their use of and attitudes about social networking
    • Educators and their use of a variety of content-sharing sites/tools
    • Educators’ engagement in online activities that are popular with students

http://www.edweb.net/fimages/op/K12Survey.pdfexternal link PDF file icon (1037 KB)

[Photo courtesy Schenectady Central School District]

Last Updated: January 26, 2015