Social networks are web-based communities that serve as platforms for online social interaction. Generally, a social network consists of user profiles, which may display links, public messages, select personal information, or other users the person is networked with. Over the last few years, social network usage has dramatically increased. Because of this, many universities are exploring how these tools can be used in education.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking tools online. Its presence has been seen in education, largely due to group tools, ease of communication, and promotional opportunities. Visit Facebook here.
Twitter is a popular microblogging site. Users "Tweet" text-based messages containing 140 characters or less to their Twitter profile. Popular among instructors for sharing class-related material, among other things. Visit Twitter here.
LinkedIn is a tool usually used for professional and business networking. Similar in functionality to Facebook, but far less personal and more formal. Useful for colleagues, employers and job-hunters. Visit LinkedIn here.
Pinterest is a content sharing site that allows users to create "pinboards" full of images, audio and other web content that they can then share with other Pinterest users. Visit Pinterest here.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform, where users can post audio, video, text, quotes, or a chat on their blog, and can also manage and create multiple blogs. Visit Tumblr here.
GradShare is a community of graduate students seeking a better experience in graduate school and beyond through the sharing of questions, answers and links. Visit GradShare here.
Ning is a site that serves as a platform for creating your own social network. Allows the user to control the design of their site, also integrates with other social networking tools (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). Visit Ning here.
UW Bothell does not provide technical support for this tool. Instead, users may be able to obtain support through the third-party that provides the tool or public information on the internet. UWB LT provides pedagogical support for the use of this tool in classes.
Here are some guides to social networking sites, designed for beginners:
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