Social Media in Everyday Learning: How Facebook Supports Informal Learning Among Young Adults in South Africa
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 13th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013, 135-144 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Social media has in the recent years become a part of people’s daily lives, and with it has come a new way to communicate and interact. The functions of social media in formal and non-formal learning are well studied, but much less attention has been paid to their role in informal learning. In South Africa the dominant social networking service is Facebook, which crosses many digital divides in the country. This study explored, through semi-structured interviews, the use patterns of Facebook among young, low-educated South Africans adults, and analyzed, using grounded theory, the potential of those use patterns for informal learning. The results show that the social interactions on Facebook support informal learning and personal development. Facebook puts the individual and the social interactions in focus without the constraints of time, objectives, or curricula. Young adults are daily exposed to various kind of information on Facebook, while maintaining control over their own Facebook activities. Self-directed learning and intrinsic motivation promote continuous discovery of new knowledge, yet sometimes the educational benefits are undermined by a lack of critical attitude towards information in social networks.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013. 135-144 p.
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97237DOI: 10.1145/2526968.2526983ISBN: 978-1-4503-2482-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97237DiVA: diva2:676281
13th Koli Calling International Conference, November 14 - 17, 2013, Koli, Finland