#Change11 #CCK12 The use of social media (FB/Twitter) in social networking & networked learning

Research indicates that male and females are different generally in the use of  social media and social networking. Males tend to be more competitive in getting the job done effectively, with strong self regards, and less regards for others, suggesting that males are more oriented on task assignment and completion. Females tend to be more socially oriented and show more regards for others, thus with a higher emotional intelligence on self awareness, social awareness and interperpersonal skills, leading them to become better teachers, coaches which rely much on human relationship building.

From the research here by Kop, Helene & Mak (2011):

“There seemed to be a gender difference in the perception of the value of community building and the organization of communication. The research highlighted a difference between men and women in terms of their communication styles and preferences. Women tended to look for similarities or commonalities (i.e., in issues of language) that could become a source of bonding. In contrast, some men had a tendency to practice one-upmanship, in the sense of trying to keep one step ahead of other participants as competitors. Men were more task-oriented in their use of language, while women put more emphasis on socioemotional dimensions. For example, in one course activity that was taken up by PLENK participants, the female participant tended to play more of an assistant/supportive role and responded in an inclusive way, while her male counterpart tended to delegate task.”

Posting first seems to be a human nature, when sharing, and the looking for some social belonging and recognition, in social networking. I realized that most postings on Social Networking sites such as FB and Twitter that relate to social learning & relationship come predominantly from females, whilst postings on information and research artifacts come equally from males and females. That is only my intuition, based on observation. You could try and analyse the networkers’ postings, and see if there is such a pattern. This seems to me a nice research topic. The questions are: Are males and females different in their intentions in social networking and media learning? What are their differences in terms of goals and motivation? Why?

This study on Facebook provides some interesting insights on why and how people use FB:

Seven unique uses and gratifications were identified –

– social connection

– shared identities

– content

– content gratification

– social investigation

– social network surfing

– status updating

User demographics, site visit patterns and the use of privacy settings were associated with different users and gratification.

A younger user was associated with higher usage level and a greater number of friends.

Females visit more frequently and scores on the photographs and status updates predict frequency of visit to the sites.

In the case of Twitter, the research found a non-power law follower distribution. Among reciprocated users, there were some level of homophily.

Would be interested to know how participants of MOOC (Change 11 and CCK12) are using social media like FB and Twitter.


Kop, R., Fournier, H., Mak, S.F. J. (2011). A Pedagogy of Abundance or a Pedagogy to Support Human Beings? Participant Support on Massive Open Online CoursesThe International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 12, No. 7 (2011).

Mak, S.F.J. (2012) Facebook or Media 

#CCK11 A short reflection on groups and networks

I enjoyed the game, where every one wins, and no one loses, as Steve mentioned. Blogging is personal, so that’s why the person (blogger) is always winning, as the competition could be with him/herself only.

In a group game, that is challenging! There are rules (conditions apply!) You got to be members of the group to contribute.

And in a team game, it is even related to agreed goals. There are winners, and losers, as in sports teams. If you are in a strong winning team, you may win, though you may equally lose, if your competitor is stronger than you.

But networks are different, you could join or leave, as you wish, at any time, seemingly with “no obligation”, and when you win, what would you do? You go on to win! When you lose, what would you do? Would you try to win again? I could see this game being played out by all nodes in networks. Is networking a game (with etiquette – both explicit and tacit)? Have we started the game? Aren’t we playing the self-organising game? No pressure as Steve said!

Which of the above are groups, teams, collectives, networks?

This reminds me of the traces of behaviorism we still observe in groups, teams and networks.

#PLENK2010 Emotional and Social Intelligence and PLENK

The sociable brain (Daniel Goleman in his book Social Intelligence): Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes it sociable, inexorably drawn into an intimate brain-to-brain linkup whenever we engage with another person. That neural bridge lets us affect the brain-and so the body-of everyone we interact with, just as they do us.
Even our most routine encounters act as regulators in the brain, priming our emotions, some desirable, others not.  The more strongly connected we are with someone emotionally, the greater the mutual force.
Does this explain why networkers are having strong or weak ties in social networks, where emotions could play a part in its formation, development and sustainability? What would be your basis of your weak ties/connections?  Ideas or information sharing? Emotional sharing? Socialising?

In search of answers to the above questions, I explored this Bar-on Model of Emotional Social Intelligence .  It provides some important insights into emotional and social intelligence.

emotional-social intelligence is a cross section of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands.

I would also rate this article as one of the best in emotional and social intelligence that I have read, as the research was extensive, and findings based on strong evidences.

Ref to p7 of 28:

More specifically, the Bar-On model reveals that women are more aware of emotions, demonstrate more empathy, relate better interpersonally and are more socially responsible than men. On the other hand, men appear to have better self-regard, are more self-reliant, cope better with stress, are more flexible, solve problems better, and are more optimistic than women. Similar gender patterns have been observed in almost every other population sample that has been examined with the EQ-i. Men’s deficiencies in interpersonal skills, when compared with women, could explain why psychopathy is diagnosed much more frequently in men than in women; and significantly lower stress tolerance amongst women may explain why women suffer more from anxiety-related disturbances than men (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

The above findings sound well when I reflect on my observations in social networks, though I think more researches need to be done to substantiate the claims, in order to avoid any stereotyping.

Would gender difference affect the way how people use PLENK and connect with others? This could be important to understand, and if the findings of the research are right, then this may imply that more women are able to connect with others than men in social networks due to their superior skills in empathy and emotional awareness, whereas men may be able to cope better with stress, are more flexible, solve problems better, and are more optimistic than women.

This led me to explore further…..

In this Social intelligence, innovation, and enhanced brain size in primates by Simon M. Reader and Kevin N. Laland

Individuals capable of inventing new solutions to ecological challenges, or exploiting the discoveries and inventions of others, may have had a selective advantage over less able conspecifics, which generated selection for those brain regions that facilitate complex technical and social behavior. An alternative account is that primates are making opportunistic use of information processing capabilities afforded by a large executive brain that has evolved for some other reason to cope with challenges in new flexible ways. However, as these two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive (3), our findings support the view that social learning and innovation may have been important processes behind the evolution of large brains in primates.

To the extent that innovation is a measure of asocial learning, the correlation between social learning and innovation frequencies suggests that asocial and social learning have evolved together. This pattern suggests that social and asocial learning may be based on the same processes (50), which conflicts with the widely held view that social learning requires distinct psychological abilities from asocial learning (70). However, we cannot rule out the possibility that social and asocial learning are separate, domain-specific capacities (14, 15) that have undergone correlated evolution.

If the findings of the research are right, then innovation (as a measure of asocial learning) based on the use of PLENK and social learning might have evolved together, confirming that social learning and innovation is part of the evolution in past decade.  Could we separate the social and asocial learning?  That remains a myth.

This emotional and social intelligence is just so interesting for me to explore.

Photo: From Flickr


Postscript: Just read Heli’s Designing for commitment in online communities Great insights from Heli.

Will reflect and respond.