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Student blur the boundaries between personal and educational uses of technology

One of the findings of Creanor et al's (2006) LEX report which generated much interest was the...

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28 April 2010

One of the findings of Creanor et al's (2006) LEX report which generated much interest was the observation that for effective e-learners '

Boundaries between these different aspects of their lives were often blurred, and learning was seen as being very much part of their identity. ' (p.9)

Four years on, and with the widespread uptake of social networking in that time, how much confidence do we now have that students prefer to blend personal and study related technology use? Do you know of evidence that students prefer to keep personal tools and technology separate from study?


The implications of this finding are important. On the one hand teachers are being warned not to "friend" their students (especially at education  levels below HE) while on the other social media offers great opportunities for learning and teaching. What recommendations can researchers make?

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Rhona Sharpe
9:57am 29 April 2010 (Edited 10:08am 29 April 2010)

Chris Jones, (OU Net Gen study), speaking at ELESIG April 2010 found students used the same tech for study as they did for social and leisure. 

Students chose to use the same technologies for study as those they were required to use on their courses. 

Most used technologies which allowed access to resources and personal communication. 

Found that students have several tabs open - mixing social and study

Martin Oliver
12:42pm 29 April 2010

We (Jane Goodman-Brown and I) couldn't see evidence to support the last claim: that social media does offer great opportunities for learning and teaching. Maybe a new cloud is needed that can draw together evidence (if it exists) for this?

Malcolm Ryan
1:02pm 29 April 2010

What are the implications for tutors when students blur these boundaries?  If we use what students perceive to be social spaces for educational reasons, what position are we putting staff in?

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