Personal Learning Environments for Overcoming Knowledge Boundaries between Activity Systems in Emerging Adulthood
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In this paper we suggest a possible answer to the question on why Social Network Systems (SNSs) are important for bridging social capital and for knowledge construction during emerging adulthood. We argue why web social artefacts 2.0, and particularly those defined as Personal Learning Environments, which consider also SNSs, could be more effective than web artefacts 1.0, such as those defined as Virtual Learning Environments (mainly represented by classical web platforms and web forums), for overcoming knowledge confines between activity systems during transitions in emerging adulthood.
This theoretical route starts with the definition of emerging adulthood as a period broadly located between adolescence and adulthood in which individuals are faced with many types of transitions. A fundamental aspect of such a transition period is the personal network of relations, and in particular the concept of bridging social capital formed by networks of weak ties. Researches on the use of web technologies in emerging adulthood are also discussed, as the results show the importance of these tools for maintaining and reinforcing bridging social capital. The conclusions derived from this theoretical route emphasise the relevance that web artefacts 2.0 have, in particular SNSs, providing emerging adults with many possibilities and support in:
- maintaining and developing their social capital;
- constructing a knowledge background that could help them during transitions through different activity systems.
These conclusions also lead towards a new conception of eLearning strategies employed in contexts such as universities, characterized until now by a heavy use of web artefacts 1.0 in which students play a passive role. We believe more flexible eLearning systems, such as SNSs, should be taken into consideration, since they are more likely to meet the needs of today’s emerging adults in terms of information and knowledge.
The full text of this article is available in English and Spanish. The Spanish version is made possible our partner, the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). // El texto integro de este artículo está disponible en inglés y castellano. La versión castellana ha sido posible gracias a nuestro socio, la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).