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Social Media-Enhanced Phones for Productive Learning of South African Postgraduate Students

, University of the Free State, South Africa

IJMBL Volume 4, Number 2, ISSN 1941-8647 Publisher: IGI Global


Despite growing interest in knowledge sharing processes in informal spaces, there is a paucity of research on technology-mediated learning in these spaces. Yet the surge in student use of Social Media-enabled phones presents tremendous opportunities for augmenting learning in privileged, authoritative spaces. This study investigated the potential of Facebook-enabled mobiles to leverage learning in informal learning environments. Third Space Theory illuminated understanding of how students draw on potentially contradictory, multiple “funds of knowledge” in their meaning making and discourses. Twenty six students were interviewed to explore how they exchanged learning resources and collaborated on academic matters. Findings suggest that student appropriation of Facebook-enhanced phones enhances social learning, hones digital literacies, and affords the co-production of knowledge in learning communities. Paradoxically, these educational gains are undermined by the disruptive nature of Social Media and student ambivalence about the blurring of academic (professional) and social divides that creates complex, ‘collapsed contexts.’


Rambe, P. (2012). Social Media-Enhanced Phones for Productive Learning of South African Postgraduate Students. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 4(2), 49-66. IGI Global. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from .


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