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International journal of computer science & information Technology (IJCSIT) Vol.2, No.4, August 2010

AN APPLIED STUDY ON EDUCATIONAL USE OF FACEBOOK AS A WEB 2.0 TOOL: THE SAMPLE LESSON OF COMPUTER NETWORKS AND COMMUNICATION Murat Kayri1 and Özlem Çakır2
1

Department of Computer and Instructional Technology, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van, Turkey 2

mkayri@yyu.edu.tr

Department of Computer and Instructional Technology, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey ocakir@education.ankara.edu.tr

ABSTRACT
The main aim of the research was to examine educational use of Facebook. The Computer Networks and Communication lesson was taken as the sample and the attitudes of the students included in the study group towards Facebook were measured in a semi-experimental setup. The students on Facebook platform were examined for about three months and they continued their education interactively in that virtual environment. After the-three-month-education period, observations for the students were reported and the attitudes of the students towards Facebook were measured by three different measurement tools. As a result, the attitudes of the students towards educational use of Facebook and their views were heterogeneous. When the average values of the group were examined, it was reported that the attitudes towards educational use of Facebook was above a moderate level. Therefore, it might be suggested that social networks in virtual environments provide continuity in life long learning.

KEYWORDS
Social networks, Facebook, Web 2.0 tools, Education

1. INTRODUCTION
Means of communication change together with improving technology. Today, the number of social networks, where communication is established, is rapidly increasing. As a part of daily life, mostly teenagers and adults use social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Weblogs, Xanga, Friendster, Orkut, Bebo and Wiki to take advantage of opening their world to friends and introduce themselves to others. At the same time, such users share their photos and videos, become members of groups and they are also provided with many msn and e-mail possibilities. Facebook was started by the students of Harvard University in 2004 for only the students of the university. Later, it spread to other universities and gradually became a public domain [1]. Facebook, whose users are rapidly increasing, is the second largest social network in the world and the largest one in Turkey [2]. In Turkey, it is known that Facebook is generally used for the following reasons: finding friends, supervision, video, picture, photo, music and idea sharing, games, organizations, political reasons, e-trade, sexual reasons, and denouncement [2]. It is also reported that such social networks, as a means of communication, could be used for education [3, 4].

DOI : 10.5121/ijcsit.2010.2405

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International journal of computer science & information Technology (IJCSIT) Vol.2, No.4, August 2010

Boyd (2003) defines social networks as software products developed to make mutual interaction between individuals and groups easier, provide various options for social feedback and support the establishment of social relationships [5]. The features of social networks are summarized as follows [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]: • Most social networks provide users with information sharing facilities such as e-mail, chats, instant messages, videos, blogging, file sharing and photo sharing, • Social networks have a database for users so that they can easily find friends, form groups and share things with those with similar interests, • Social networks provide users with opportunities for establishing on-line profiles and setup their own social networks, • Most social networks are free of charge, • Most social networks are reviewed and recreated according to user feedback. Similarly, open source versions enable users to develop their own applications to be integrated with sites, • Social networks enable users to...
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