“Distance Education is about Change”
Evolution in computing and information technology has changed the ways of education. With new technology being created for the purpose of education, the traditional teaching practices are becoming a thing of the past. There are fewer students on school campuses but the numbers of enrollees have increased. Although not new to education, it has become more popular as the demands for a higher education seems to be required to improve the ways of life, Distance Education. Different technological platforms are used in distance education and just in the nick of time to impact teaching methods in which communication, connection, student engagement, and interactive learning are fundamental. The amount of students, from first time college students to continuing education that are taking online classes keeps on growing. “More than 6.7 million students—32 percent of total higher education enrollment—took at least one online course through a university during fall 2011, up from roughly 6.1 million students the year prior, according to "Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States." Responses by academic officials from 2,820 colleges and universities, including both for-profit and nonprofit institutions, were included in the annual report”. One method that seems to have enhanced this phenomenon is Social Media.
Historically, the first “recognizable social network site launched in 1997,” (Boyd and Ellison, 2007) which was called Sixdegrees.com. With this first social networking site accessible, individuals could associate with each one in turn through messages. From 1997 to 2002, different informal organizations rose with diverse points. For instance, LinkedIn was a prevalent asset of the business group. After 2002, three social networking sites evolved to help advance it as a mainstream communication venue, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Today, it appears that Facebook and Twitter have taken the lead as far as social media is concerned. A link is imbedded in almost every website which allows you to visit the stores facebook page giving you the option to “like” them or contact them via twitter.
The Five C's of Social Media Technologies (Friedman and Friedman 2008)
The new media technologies are a diverse lot: blogs, wikis, podcasts, mashups, computer- mediated social networking, ... These seemingly disparate technologies share a small set of principles we refer to as the 5 C’s: communication, collaboration, community, creativity, and convergence.
Communication: By and large, new media technologies are concerned with communication in one form or another. After all, what are media if not communication modalities? Blogs may be viewed as an alternative or a complement to publishing, but they may also be an alternative to personal webpages. Furthermore, bloggers do not only engage in one-way posting. Many will cite and link to other blogger's posts; enough of this cross linking...