The Writing Is on My Wall

L12 j

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Abstract

In this paper, we chronicle our experiences using a social networking site (Ning) to engage and promote collaboration between a class of grade 7 and 8 students, preservice teachers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and graduate students at memorial University in Newfoundland. As part of a digital media project exploring the effects of the media on adolescents, students engaged in discussions about literature and the issues that relate to their reading while interacting on the site with one another, with preservice teachers and with graduate students. We focus specifically on the activities involved in this project, the challenges and benefits of using a Ning, and Ning’s pedagogical potential for collaborative knowledge construction, and the creation of a community of practice, which fosters social presence, multimodal communication, and student engagement in learning.