3.1 Social technologies for promoting community
Some social media tools can be used to enhance communication and cohesion among your group of online learners. ‘Collecting’ tools such as Pinterest can help learners discover a topic collectively and share their findings or ideas. Social bookmarking tools such as Diigo can aid in broadening learners’ research skills, connecting them with resources they hadn’t previously discovered. Of course, simply using the right technologies will not force a sense of community and shared learning to develop in any given cohort, but it will give it a chance of happening. If Facebook is available to all members of your cohort (it is blocked in some countries), the creation of a class Facebook group can give learners an easy way to communicate with each other, as well as providing the teacher with an opportunity to provide prompt scheduling reminders, and to share relevant resources. Coughlan and Perryman (2015) have written about the use of student-led Facebook groups and their role in facilitating learning and achieving educational inclusion.