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Social Media and Social Networks

For out-of-school learners, social media create the possibility of interacting with other learners or educators and their digital content anytime, anyplace across the globe. Although social media is difficult to define because these technologies increasingly change with use, many agree that social media include any digital technology where users connect with other users and/or with user-generated content. Often, though not always, the chance to comment on or modify this content is a hallmark of social media. Examples of social media include social network sites (SNSs—e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn), wikis (e.g., Wikipedia), blog-publishing services (e.g., Blogger), microblogging services (e.g., Twitter), video sharing services (e.g., YouTube), and photo-sharing services (e.g., Flickr). Because of their power to engross users, social media are increasingly employed as a tool to spur ...

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