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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 3, No. 4 (2007) open journal systems 


Social Presence Awareness for Knowledge Transformation in a Mobile Learning Environment

Raymond M. Kekwaletswe, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Abstract
Knowledge sharing occurs between humans, rather than being a human-computer process. Knowledge transformation is an outcome of individuals’ knowledge-sharing experiences. Social interaction is central to both knowledge transformation and to learning. When learners intermingle, there may be a shift in knowledge due to the social interaction. Consequently, knowledge transformation is a social process that occurs when there is an interaction among learners. In a contact university, learners perform tasks in three locations: formal contexts, semi-formal contexts and informal contexts. Learning tasks are presumed to be constant but a mobile learner carries the tasks across different environments. However, as learners move across different contexts, they do not have access to the same social networks for sharing knowledge and learning experiences. The paper conceptualises a mobile learning environment that provides social presence awareness as a learner traverses different learning contexts. It highlights how through synchronous mobile instant messaging, social presence provides learners with continuous awareness of available social support, thus facilitating the on-demand and opportunistic sharing of knowledge.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556