A MOBILE SOCIAL NETWORKING APPLICATION FOR ACADEMICS AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

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A MOBILE SOCIAL NETWORKING APPLICATION FOR ACADEMICS AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

ABSTRACT
A Mobile Social Networking Application for Academics and for Collaborative Learning is an android social networking application and also a web based application designed for lecturers and students in the university for the purpose of having their lectures and class discussion on academic issues to improve collaborative learning among students even without physical presence. The objectives of this design were to have a closed system with higher security mechanism where only authorized users can have access into the forum, also to improve the method of disseminating information among students in a class through SMS notification, and to discipline students on their behaviour when using the social media. These objectives necessitated for a new design and implementation of mobile social networking application used in education. A hybrid methodology which comprises of Waterfall methodology and Object Oriented Analysis and Design Methodology (OOADM) were adopted in this work where some Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams were used to design the system architecture. Object Oriented Programming (OOP) php, mobincub library (which contain android APK), ASP (for the sms notification) with MySQL Server at its back-end were used to develop this system. The Mobile Social Networking Application for Academics and for Collaborative Learning named “DegreeMate15” is an android social networking application and also a web based application that provides the lecturer with an alternative environment for having lectures, students can also use the application to learn with each other thereby improving in learning anytime anywhere. The application also has the functionality that stores each lecture that was done in it with the time they were conducted, so as to assist students who may not have attended the lecture to read the lecture summary.

Background of Study
Social networking began when man started exist. Man is a social being that will always find it difficult to stay without relating to people around him. Many years ago (20th century and below), people connect and interact with each other through various means like using postal service, telegraph etc. Following the evolution of internet in 1970’s, people use the internet to connect or communicate with each other especially in established organizations like US Military. It was only in the last few decades that the use of social networking service became a global practice especially amongst young people (Horizon, 2009). Boyd and Ellison (2007) definesocial networking service as a web-based service that allow individuals to:
1. Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system
2. Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection
3. View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
The nature at which these features are implemented may vary from site to site. Social networking started with Bulletin Board System (BBS), they were often run by hobbyists who carefully nurtured the social aspects and interest-specific nature of their projects – which, more often than not in those early days of computers, was technology-related. But there were also other avenues for social interaction long before the Internet exploded onto the mainstream consciousness. One such option was CompuServe, a service that began life in the 1970s as a business-oriented mainframe computer communication solution, but expanded into the public domain in the late 1980s. CompuServe allowed members to share files and access news and events. But it also offered something few had ever experienced – true interaction. But if there is a true precursor to today’s social networking sites, it was likely spawned under the AOL (America Online) umbrella. In many ways, and for many people, AOL was the Internet before the Internet, and its member-created communities (complete with searchable “Member Profiles,” in which users would list pertinent details about themselves), were arguably the service’s most fascinating, forward-thinking feature. Other social networking applications like Friendster, Linkedln, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter was invented within the space of 2002 to 2007.

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A MOBILE SOCIAL NETWORKING APPLICATION FOR ACADEMICS AND  COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

 


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