Social Software and Educational Technology: Informal, Formal and Technical Values

March 30, 2013

Social software is a growing reality worldwide and several authors are discussing its use to promote social interaction in learning contexts. Although problems regarding privacy, reputation, and identity are commonly reported in social software, an explicit concern regarding peoples’ values is not a common practice in its design and adoption, in part, due to the lack of research in this subject. The issue of values becomes even more critical as social software crosses the boundaries of people’s cultures to pervade every aspect of their lives, from personal relationships to work, from play to education. In this paper we shed light on this scenario by presenting an informed discussion about values in the context of social software, as it may bridge the gap between informal and formal learning. An organization of 28 suggested values is presented in the Value Pie, as a way of informing the design of social software. Our discussion is grounded on Organizational Semiotics and the Building Blocks of Culture.

Journal of Educational Technology & Society

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