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ISSN : 2092-674X (Print)
ISSN : 2092-6758 (Online)
Asia-Pacific Collaborative education Journal Vol.5 No.2 pp.15-28
DOI :

Feasibility of Social Network Service for Family friendly values formation

Sunho Kwon, Sungmi Kim
Sung-ho Kwon is corresponding author and a professor of the Department of Educational technology, Hanyang University, Korea.
Sung-mi Kim is co-author and a doctoral
student of the Department of Educational
technolo-gy, Hanyang University, Korea.
Received Date: September 21 2009, Revision received Date: December 3 2009, Accepted Date: December 7 2009

Abstract

There have been significant changesto family values and the types of familieshave diversi-fied. This phenomenon gaveway to the rise of the lower fertility andaging society, and could also causedisorganization or crisis of family in thefuture.It has now become necessary to buildfamily-friendly values through the neweducation envi-ronment, Web 2.0. SocialNetwork Service (SNS), the main ideaof this study, represents one type of thenew environment. It is a vital andwell-matched concept withfamily-friendly val-ues. The paradigmshift in education has features such asinteraction, relationship andcom-munication.The purpose of this study was tosuggest feasibility of Social NetworkService for forming family-friendlyvalues. To verify the feasibility, fourfamily websites in Korea were examinedwith the research method of SWOTAnalysis. To find strategies, SWOTfactors were identified as follows;1) Strength factors of Social NetworkService for family-friendly valuesformation: free ser-vice, diversefunctions, and global interactivitythrough language service.2) Weakness factors: unstable, virtualdisorder resulting from too manyfunctions, and lack of userdirectedness.3) Opportunity factors: increasingneeds of family value education andimprovement to mul-ticulturalsociety.4) Threat factors: digital literacydivide between old and newgeneration and decreasing time tocommunicate with family.In this study, the following sevenstrategies were extracted through SWOTanalysis:1) Practice educational paradigm shift: Web 2.02) Change educational settings inmulticultural society3) Challenge media convergence4) Represent ability of ubiquitouslearning5) Promote interactivity across allage groups, taking into accountlife cycle6) Present user-directed interfaces7) Conduct instructional contents orcurriculum with blended learningat K-12

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Introduction

 The history of mankind begins with families in all societies. The family has been changing continuously while interacting with system of social-culture. Today, new types of family have emerged: the single-person family, the international family, childless family and long separated family are some examples.

 These changes originate from various reasons, such as socio-economical factor, population control policy, the late marriage, and so on. The problem is that it could cause disorganization or crisis of family in the future (Lee, 2006). If family values continue to weaken in our socie-ty, various social problems could arise.

 Family is obviously an important issue, though there are people who choose to live alone. The value of the tie that binds individuals within the family keeps growing, even as our socie-ty develops an inclination for individualism. Familyfriendly values must be rebuilt, and ex-treme individualism must be shunned.

 Since 2006, Korean government agencies have tried to conduct research to recover family-friendly values that offer positive perceptions on marriage, birth and family.

 The best way to overcome problems caused by low fertility and aging society is the educa-tional approach. It has a focus on deviation from the extreme individualism and contribution to the affirmative value about marriage, birth and family (Choi, 2005).

 Today, instructional curriculum and contents about family in formal education field are in-sufficient, as they are outdated and impractical. Therefore, new educational approach should contain substantial dimension of education and try to fit in the changing educational envi-ronment.

 Educational environment has gradually brought in ‘Web 2.0’systems with these main cha-racteristics: participation, information sharing and openness, among others. We could see shifting of the learning initiative from teacher to student as well as convergence of media with various learning methods such as e-learning, m-learning and u-learning, and etc (Kim, 2008).

 It is necessary that a new educational trial put together new educational paradigm in order to cultivate and disseminate family-friendly values. Formal education system such as K-12 has been mostly used as an interest in the development of an intellectual domain. It needs to come to accomplish an emotional dimension with technology of Web 2.0, consisting of RSS, Wikipedia, UCC and SNS (Social Network Service). In particular, the word of e-learning 2.0 emerged in the area of education content.

 Lastly, this study began with the recognition that education about family should be substan-tially improved. To do so, the study was to suggest feasibility of Social Network Service for forming family-friendly values and finding use strategies through SWOT analysis.

Theoretical background

Educational paradigm shift into Web 2.0

 Family values must be taught in both intellectual approach and emotional dimension. There are limitations to the traditional teaching method, in which the teacher merely offers explana-tion to students, and it is not enough for the students to learn of importance of family values.

 Therefore, a new educational field should change so that it concentrates on more practical and emotional dimensions, too. Plus, students must be able to identify family values on their own, take part in their own family, and develop creative and critical thinking. Moreover, time and space constraints must be overcome through a blend of online and offline teaching. This is possible with Web 2.0 (Lee & Im, 2006).

 Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of Web development and design, which fa-cilitates communication; secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. It has been laying the foundation new terminologies with ideas such as Classroom 2.0, Teacher 2.0 and Learning 2.0(Graham & Sacha, 2007).

 Web 2.0 provides interaction from an open platform and generates assorted knowledge-sharing through direct connection among users. ‘Collective intelligence’ can explain this phenomenon (O'Reilly, 2006).

 A series of creative ideas are gathered through interaction among different people (Mochio, 2006). A concept emerged in the educational content area of Web 2.0 in the concrete. The cognitive process in learning 2.0 can easily be seen. Experienced people with expert know-how could help promote a new idea by interacting with others. They could check, present and share information from Google, blogs, Wikipedia and Social Network Service. Christine (2009) suggests that learning 2.0 has four perspectives on learning:

 1. (LA) Learning and Achieving: Social computing tools can be used as methodological or didactic tools to directly support, facilitate, enhance and improve learning processes and outcomes. Social computing is conceived of as a means of personalizing learning processes and promoting the students’ individual learning progress, ultimately leading to an empowerment of the learner;

 2. (N) Networking: Social computing can be used to support the communication among students and between students and teachers. In this respect, its main purpose is to create an environment of understanding and assistance, thus contributing to the establishment of social networks or communities between and among learners and teachers;

 3. (D) Embracing Diversity: Social computing can be thought of as a means of integrating learning into a wider community, reaching out virtually to people from other age groups, backgrounds and cultures, linking to experts, researchers or practitioners in particular fields of study and thus opening up alternative channels for gaining knowledge and enhancing skills;

 4. (S) Opening up to Society: Finally, social computing can be conceived of as a tool for making institutional learning accessible and transparent for all members of society, pro-moting the involvement of third parties like parents, and also facilitating access by current and prospective students to information.

 Together, these four approaches to Learning 2.0 gave rise to new areas for innovation in learning, to innovative lands for Learning.

 Moreover, the features of E-learning 2.0 brought about a change in making and teaching online education content, and in educational environment. They also revealed social change where learners become co-participants by sharing and opening education information. E-learning 2.0 is expected to develop education content from the past knowledge- delivered content through the present learner-participating content to the future learner-initiative learning (KIPA, 2007).

Family 2.0 as Social Network Service

 Social Network Service (SNS) can be widely defined as the Internet- or mobile- device based social spaces designed to facilitate communication, collaboration and content sharing across networks of contacts. They enable users to connect to friends and colleagues, to send mails and instant messages, to blog, to meet new people and to post personal information pro-files, which may comprise blogs, photos, videos, images, audio contents(OECD, 2007; Childnet International, 2008; Cachia, 2008; Christine, 2009).

 These are prominent examples of Social Network Services site: Facebook and MySpace for socializing; LinkedIn for professional networking; Second Life for virtual world; and Elgg for knowledge accretion and learning.

 Social networking Web sites are being used regularly by millions of people. They are made up of multiple connections as shown in Figure 1 below.

<Figure 1> Components of Social network service

 SNS is focused on supporting relationships between teachers and students. A lot of students are now using it for learning from online contents and sharing information. Many sites are being built to foster relationships that include educational blogs, e-portfolios, online com-munities, as well as communication space such as chatrooms, discussion threads, and syn-chronous forums.

 SNS is one type of u-learning with the rapid progression of technology into the 21st century and has following features (Glenn& Jerome, 2008):

 ∙ Collective intelligence: shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals

 ∙ Individualized learning: it presumes that the needs of individual students are different, and thus, must be differently addressed

 ∙ Just-in-time knowledge: training to workers when and where they need it

 ∙ Simulation: It mimics the real learning process in various context-aware U-environments

 According to Tim & Cranston (2008), young people tend to use SNS primarily to (1) keep in touch with friends, (2) develop new contacts, (3) share content and engage in self-expression, (4) explore their identity, (5) hang out and consume content, and (6) access information and informal learning. Additionally, as Childnet International (2008) suggests, there are a lot of educational benefits and opportunities inherent in the use of SNS not only for young people and all of online users but also for schools and educators.

 The potential uses of SNS lie in (1) developing e-portfolios as online space where learners can record their achievements and collect examples of their work, exploring and promoting their talents and interests; (2) facilitating literacy and communication skills; (3) fostering collaboration and group work; (4) supporting learning about data protection and copyright issues; (5) learning about self-presentation in a digital world; (6) learning about e-safety issues; (7) producing public showcases for work, events or organization; and (8) forming communities of practice around particular topics or interests.

 Generally, the pioneering operation of these SNS is regarded as six degrees (sixdegrees.com). They began to take relationships with persons with similar hobbies or interests online. Since then, SNS has developed and facilitated finding people online(Boyd. D.M., Ellison, N.B, 2007).

 Earlier this decade in Korea, Web site I Love School (iloveschool.com) became very popular and begot many on-line SNS. SNS could be divided into many types by contents or cha-racteristics, and SNS about family is called ‘Family 2.0.’ It refers to SNS that is tailored for families. These services typically allow families to communicate and collaborate with any member of their family, build family trees, share photos, among with other activities. In the Confucian society with a high percentage of Internet connection, Family 2.0 sites in Korea will be popping up in droves. Anyone in the Family 2.0 could enjoy many functions to en-courage their relationship, exchanging their information, sharing photo and schedule, building genealogy, setting travel plans and doing polls. As of January 2006, about 100 Family 2.0 sites were running in the United States.

Research materials and Methods

 SWOT analysis is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a simple, much-used technique which can help prepare for or amend plans in problem solving and decision making. According to NetMBA (2003), performing SWOT analysis involves generating and recording of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in relation to a particular task or objective. It is customary for the analysis to take account of internal re-sources and capabilities (strengths and weakness) and factors external to the organization (opportunities and threats).

 Four prominent domestic family SNS-씨넷(sie.net), 유패밀리(ufamily.co.kr), 주프(zooof.com), 효도하자(café.daum. net/nurungjiday) were selected in this study as research material.

[Table 1] Research materials

 SWOT analysis was used as method in this research. Five professional researchers took part in analysis and the result depends on their judgment over a month. The analysis was carried out in two stages: exploratory, followed by data collection, and details, followed by a focused analysis. Gathering information on Strengths and Weaknesses focused on the internal factors of skills, resources and assets, or lack of them. Gathering information on Opportunities and Threats focused on the external factors over which you have little or no control, such as social or economic factors. After the lists from each researcher were all compiled, evaluation and elimination of lists were discussed and all findings were rearranged.

 Yet, the SWOT analysis had limitation as a verification procedure. Also, the five researchers exercised their own discretion and subjective interpretations. Although this method had some downsides, it could still contribute to suggesting of feasibility of SNS for family-friendly val-ues educationally.

Results and Discussion

 To find strategies, SWOT factors research materials were identified as follows in Table 4 below:

[Table 2] SWOT Analysis matrix

 Moreover, seven strategies were extracted through SWOT analysis consisting of SO(Strength-Opportunity), WO(Weakness-Opportunity), ST(Strength -Threat) and WT (Weakness-Threat). These are as follows in Table5 below:

[Table 3] SWOT feasible strategy

1. SO strategy

Practice educational paradigm shift: Web 2.0

 It is essential to emphasize on the conversion to participation (Becoming) in education about values. It is linked to the features of Web 2.0. Learning should be advanced as a process with all members participating, as does this case on family values education. When the educational paradigm which evolves toward Web 2.0 is emphasized, it simultaneously creates family-friendly values. It means learners will be able to learn the meaning of family through the ac-tual interaction with their own family in real life. In other words, the two, state-of-art -the- technique skill of Web and family-friendly values are in the same line as Web 2.0.

Change educational settings in multicultural society

 The world is becoming more multicultural. The disappearance of cultural barriers and ste-reotypes can be traced back to family. In formation of family friendly values, you can expe-rience multicultural values and create a platform from which to criticize social misconceptions through SNS. The number of immigrant wives owing to international marriage in Korea has increased. Many families need to get the language service and also need to maintain contact with their family in their hometowns. A new education setting linked in e-learning is ne-cessary because formal education institutes cannot assume all these responsibilities. They can easily access to other places and acquire many different language services with translation functions. It will be possible for a Korean husband to stay in touch with his Vietnamese fa-ther-in-law anytime he wants.

2. WO strategy

Challenge media convergence

 In SNS, it would be possible to try to achieve educational convergence with next-generation media or with the Internet, mobile phones, PDA and other devices. For instance, you can log on to a homepage and write a message on a mobile device, or receive a message posted on a Web site as a text message, and post a reply. The stream of media convergence should be de-veloped so that there are no boundaries among devices. Anyone who uses a media device could share news about a member of family from a distance.

Represent ability of ubiquitous learning

 Education in the future will evolve in social infrastructure. Anyone will be able to connect easily to information machinery and tools and will be able to use it anytime. It is called ‘just-in-time learning’ or ubiquitous learning. Family values also could be followed by this educa-tional trend. For instance, using the Internet genealogical table, you can inherit the concept of family expansion and can maintain continuous and cumulative interaction with family mem-bers that are afar. Family value is an unchanging concept anytime anywhere. Although family types change and diversity emerges, learning based on ubiquitous computing in education, or u-learning, can help sustain family main values.

3. ST strategy

Promote interactivity across all age groups, taking into account life cycle

 All family members should be able to use SNS easily, and for that to happen, natural and smooth interaction must be in place that considers life cycle. Family friendly values must transcend generation gap and be based on the close tie within the family. The increase of the nuclear families has lessened communication opportunities between young generation and old one. Technical realization should be directed in a way that facilitates interaction across all age groups. For instance, when a grandson writes a letter online, the grandmother should be able to receive an offline letter, or to send gifts to parents using cyber cash. In other words, the elderly may find it difficult to use digital devices, but that doesn’t mean they should give up communicating with the young.

4. WT strategy

Present user-directed interfaces

 To raise SNS accessibility for family members, used services or menus must be highlighted based on age, gender, and other factors. The complicated menu or the icon can obstruct inte-raction within family. They have to be designed in a more user-friendly way. Because of in-creasing computer literacy, the interface system in SNS should become learner-controlled. If each member of family has more functions to decorate their family site, they can feel more connected with each other.

Conduct instructional contents or curriculum with blended learning at K-12 school

 Many teachers are highly aware of teaching family friendly values, but they don’t often have adequate teaching methods, contents or tools to offer proper education. SNSs could help teachers to establish the curriculum connecting both online and off-line(at school) and new educational trial. K-12 education system has found another teaching method to foster learn-ers’ interest. SNS about family can be a key to promote family-friendly values, digital literacy as well as learning interest in other subjects.

Conclusion

 This study suggests feasibility of SNS for family friendly values under the changing educa-tional environment. It is based on the main idea of ‘Web 2.0.’ In particular, SNS can deliver intellectual information as well as emotional interaction with family to extend their connec-tion.

 This study gathered data from SWOT analysis. First of all, strength factors of social network service for family friendly values formation comprise of free service, diverse functions, and global interactivity through language service. Plus, weakness factors consist of unstable, vir-tual disorder caused by too many functions, and lack of user directedness. The third, opportu-nity factors have increasing needs of family value education and improvement to multicultural society. The last one, threat factors, represent digital literacy divide between old and new generation and decreasing time to communicate with family.

 Finally, there are seven feasible strategies of SNS for family-friendly values formation: (1) Practice educational paradigm shift, (2) Change educational settings in multicultural society, (3) Challenge media convergence, (4) Represent possibility of ubiquitous learning, (5) Pro-mote interactivity across all age groups, (6) Present user-directed interface and (7) Make in-structional contents or curriculum with blended learning at K-12 schools.

 And where does the next ubiquitous educational environment take us in the future?

 The change of educational environment passes over boundaries of the space and time. Si-multaneously it becomes more integrated, human oriented and relation-oriented based on human resources. Educational feasibility of SNS would be extended more and more. Also it helps to decrease the gap between generations, regions, nations, cultures and so on. Moreover, a lot of information or files are able to be accumulated on line with low cost.

 Consequently, it could be an ideal educational model to overcome many barriers in the ubi-quitous society from this study. Education about family values should change together with trend.

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