The term was proposed by Vicki A. Davis during the Economist debate on social networking technologies in education. It has a working definition of educationally-focused networks which potentially includes functionality like file sharing, communication (chat and discussion forums), information networking technologies (, and social networking technologies (profiles, connections).

Dkon 00:21, February 19, 2011 (UTC)

A growing number of classrooms are using educational networks to communicate and create an online presence for their classrooms. However, many debate the merits of using such technology at all. Although the Horizon Report 2007 outlined social networking as one of its key trends in college education, schools are still struggling with how to have "sanctioned" spaces and others that are off limits.

Uses for Educational Networks[]

  • Create an environment that cannot be duplicated elsewhere for networking students that will not meet face to face.
  • Teachers retain administrative control (ban users, approve photos and videos, make the site public or private, add gadgets).
  • Students quickly learn to use such sites which give them a way to blog, share photos, share videos, join groups, and comment and rate the work of one another in peer review.
  • Private educational networks can be used to educate students on social networking safety in a classroom setting before they move personally to major platforms like Facebook and Myspace
  • Organizations can create communities of learners that last beyond the span of a course, a grade, or even beyond graduation.

Obstacles to Educational Networking[]

  • Most people use the word "social" networking which denotes "play" and not classroom professionalism to many educators.
  • Use of "embedded" social networking platforms - some are using Facebook and Myspace as their classroom social networks causing an overlap between a space for friends and a space for classrooms.
  • Some technology specialists state that teachers have not asked for the technology in their classrooms. UK Essays
  • Perception that social networks are not used by teachers, only by youth.

Dkon 00:21, February 19, 2011 (UTC)

Criticisms of Educational Networking[]

  • The echo chamber effect of only networking with those of similar opinions/attitudes.

Key Resources[]

Links to resources discussing social networking in education.

Dkon 23:20, February 18, 2011 (UTC)


It should be noted that many examples (particularly for younger classrooms) are private, so in that case, descriptions of the sites and their uses have been linked.

Multi-Classroom Examples[]

Examples of public classroom social networks linking multiple classrooms

  • Flat Classroom Project Ning - Students from China, Austria, Australia, Qatar, and the US communicated with one another and experts around the world to analyze the trends outlined in Thomas Friedman's book, "The World Is Flat."
  • Thousand and One Flat World Tales Project A "Flat Classroom" writing workshop between students of Korea International School (KIS) in Seoul, South Korea, Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Dkon 00:10, February 19, 2011 (UTC)

Lists of Educational Networks[]

Regulatory Requirements[]

Many countries have regulatory requirements for the use of educational and data networks.

The United States[]

Government-funded web sites must meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Additionally, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)'s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the internet standard for accessibility.