Twitter as a Serendipitous Learning Space

Following the paper on “Serendipitous Learning: Recognising and Fostering the Potential of Microblogging” which was appeared in the February 2011 Issue of the FORM@ARE journal, I have submitted a book chapter this week for the upcoming book on microblogging, edited by Carmen Holotescu.

The new book chapter titled “Twitter as a Serendipitous Learning Space: Constructing Knowledge through Microblogging” explores Twitter as a potential space for serendipitous learning, in which the user can spontaneously discover, learn and create while at the same time maintaining connections to others.

Here is the abstract of the book chapter:

“This chapter introduces the concept of serendipitous learning in the context of microblogging and discusses the potential of unplanned and unexpected discoveries for constructing and sharing knowledge on Twitter. While most research related to microblogging and learning focuses on the support of informal learning, training specific competencies using microblogs and designing educational activities based on microblogging, there has been relatively little attention to the learning process itself which takes place when learners engage in microblogging. (…) This chapter argues that serendipitous learning through microblogging is an emerging practice in constructing and sharing knowledge. Moreover, it is argued that Twitter can become a serendipitous learning space, provided the user is open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives. Engaging in microblogging in an open social network of diverse users sharing diverse information can enhance serendipitous discovery of novel information and generation of new ideas. In this way serendipitous learning may enhance creativity and innovation as key 21st century skills.”

In the meantime some new articles related to serendipity and learning by Rita Kop from Canada, Thomas Cochrane from New Zealand and Reinder Vrielink from the Netherlands have been published. Here is the list of related papers:

I am hoping and looking forward to the discussion and research on serendipitous learning to unfold!

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  1. Hi Ilona,
    thanks for that great post and list of related papers. I really love the idea of serendipity in microblogging and as you pointed out in your other post there could be some great benefit for diversity-aspects.
    Perhaps my article with one small chapter on social-serendipity on the basis of tweet-analysis in a mooc is interesting for you too. See “Do it Yourself – Lernende gestalten ihre Online-Lernumgebung” [sorry, only german]

    Page 449-451.

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