Social Media for Informal Learning: a Case of #Twitterstorians

AbstractOpen, online environments like social media are now a mainstay of life-long informal learning. Social media like Twitter help people gather information, share resources, and discuss with other participant-learners with similar interests. This paper seeks to test and validate the ‘learning in the wild’ coding schema in the context of discussions on Twitter, an approach first developed for studying learning communities on Reddit. The schema considers how participant-learners are leveraging social media to facilitate self-directed informal learning practices, exploratory dialogue, and communicative exchanges. We apply the coding schema on a sample of tweets (n=594) from the History Twittersphere community (#Twitterstorians) to provide a more nuanced understanding of the different kinds of discursive practices, resource exchanges, and ideas being shared and communicated outside traditional classroom settings.


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