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Social Software

Social software - often connected to older forms of computer mediated communication (CMC) and newer discussion about online communities - can be defined as a cluster of activities performed by digital social networks.

Life-long learning is a key issue for our knowledge society. With social software systems new heterogeneous kinds of technology enhanced informal learning are now available to the life-long learner. Learners outside of learning institutions now have access to powerful social communities of experts and peers who are together forging a new web 2.0. The deliverable 'Social Software for Professional Learning: Examples and Research Issues' D15.1 reviews current work in pan-European initiatives that impact upon life-long learning via views of professional learning, learner competence and social networking seeks to provide an overview of some of the critical research questions for the interdisciplinary field of social software research.

The 'Case Study on social software in distributed working environments' D15.2 outlines four different case studies on the use of Social Software in distributed working environments. While two case studies focus on the corporate world, two other case studies look at the use of Social Software in academic workplaces. The concluding remarks identify some common benefits as well as issues with the use of Social Software and to derive some further research challenges from the different cases.

The 'Report on the “ProWalk” workshop series' D15.3 describes in total 16 events organised over a one year period. The focus has been put on workshops as an appropriate means to inform on current research and developments as well as to collect input from the audience outside the PROLEARN NoE.

'Some “Lessons Learnt” on Social Software for Professional Learning' D15.5 lists some lessons learnt regarding the use of social software for professional learning. The conclusion is based upon experiences and insights reported by PROLEARN members and work performed during several conferences as well as a questionnaire. As outlined in D15.3 two German book projects were started to reflect this. (Gronau, Norbert/Müller, Claudia (Eds.): Bildung von Sozialen Netzwerken in Anwendungen der Social Software. GITO-Verlag) and (Back, A.; Gronau, N.; Tochtermann, K. (Eds.): “Social Software in Companies” (in German), Oldenbourg, currently under editing).
The impact of social software on professional learning can be understood also by following the development in other work packages of the PROLEARN Network of Excellence. Basically, there is no research work package which is not affected by the idea of social software. Therefore, many lessons learnt not reported here can be found in the deliverables of our work packages

All Personalized Adaptive Learning deliverables can be downloaded here


EC-TEL 17-20 September 2007 Crete, Greece

Ralf Klamma

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