It took some time for the social media exceed the reserves for educators and begin to be seen as a valuable source of new chances. It is in this way that it is becoming increasingly present the use of the designation of EDUCATION 2.0.
The proof of this is the fact that several social networks dedicated solely to education have already reached tens of millions of members (between teachers, students, parents and schools).
Like many other area-specific social networks, the education social networks function as a social network with characteristics similar to the most popular(Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter), with the difference that they are geared specifically for education.
Its main objective is to facilitate as much as possible communication and interaction between network members (teachers, pupils, parents and schools) in order to generate a virtual learning school environment full of pedagogical tools that help the development of educational activities and tasks on the site itself.
In addition, members are given the opportunity to exchange experiences, and to promote contributions and information sharing with other members of the education social network.
Given the operating characteristics of these networks, they are already various education experts who have already indicated this kind of social networks as the best option to pedagogical use.
Given the time already spent and the successes demonstrated, how much longer will the ministry of education of several countries, begin to adopt heavily these social networks for education in the various virtual schoolsin view of the many proven advantages.
They are presented below several of the education social networks which currently have greater prominence in the educational landscape.
- Edmodo.comLaunched in September 2008, this social network of education currently (June 2013) already has more than 20 million members all over the world. É free and is available in seven languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek and Dutch, with three types of accounts: teacher, student or parent/guardian. On the network, various activities are possible such as sharing material, organising discussion groups, managing calendars, giving grades or parents following the performance of students in various activities. The graphic aspect of Edmodo education network is very based on Facebookso that it becomes very easy to navigate and discover its potentialities.
- Lore.com: Social network of targeted education only exclusively for teachers and students of the higher education.
- Twiducate.com: Student-oriented solution of the primary and secondary educationwhere parents can follow the pedagogical development of their children.
- Teamie (theteamie.com)Although the basic version is free, in order to use all the existing functionalities there is a monthly fee to be paid. It is possible for teachers and students to share messages, didactic material, texts, books and also to take quizzes or create discussion forums within the virtual choices.
- Schoology: Social network founded at the end of 2009, which among several features allows you to create teaching content, develop activities and assign grades in virtual schools.
- Sophia (sophia.org): Very professional educational social networkwith one more source of academic information available free of charge.
- Classroom 2.0 (www.classroom20.com)Although it is one of the oldest education networks (it started at the beginning of 2007), its design is notable, which means that although there are members from more than 180 countries, there are only about 75,000 of them.
- Diipo.comAnother social network for education that exists since 2010 but is not very significant
Complementary to the education social networks presented above that are only available in English (with the exception of Edmodo.com), there are currently the following networks created in Brazil and Portugal (and in Portuguese language).
- Passei Direto (passeidireto.com): Brazilian education network oriented to tertiary students.
- Educopedia (educopedia.com.br)Collaborative online platform for digital classes, where students and teachers can access self-explanatory activities in a fun and practical way. The lessons are created and reviewed by teachers from Rio de Janeiro's municipal school network.
- Ebah (ebah.com.br): Brazilian education social network also as a target audience tertiary students.
- Weduc.com: Portuguese social network for education which became free at the beginning of 2013 and has around 30,000 users and 2,000 virtual schools activated.
The social media niche because they are much more focused on the communities to which they are dedicated, they end up offering many more features than the most popular social networks (for not having a main focus).
Other studies on social networks: