Co-creation of Knowledge in Technology-Enhanced Communities of Learning

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The Role of Social Media in Learning and Social Integration Among Students of Ethiopian Origin

Date: 
2015

Students of Ethiopian origin are amongst the poorest and weakest populations in the Israeli society. They have to deal with social and cultural gaps in addition to economic difficulties and racial stereotypes. In this respect, the present research aims to identify various social, cultural and academic resources, which social media could offer to these youngsters for the better adjustment to the academic studies and social integration. 136 Israeli-born students and 36 students of Ethiopian origin participated in a survey. In addition, 385 posts from a Facebook group that was spontaneously opened by students in conjunction to an academic course were analyzed. The findings indicate that there is a digital gap between the Israeli-born students and students of Ethiopian origin. In addition, students of Ethiopian origin did not take an active part in the online Facebook group, thus pointing to a peripheral (lurking) pattern of participation.