10 online social network options for educators


Professors and K-12 teachers may not always socialize in the same places that their students do, but their networks are just as important to their lives and careers. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently compared some of the more prominent social sites available to educators, and the sites they looked at, such Academia.edu and Mendeley, offer lots of options for research and collaboration.

Education Dive decided to drill a bit deeper and look at what else is out there, as well as what the best options are for educators and graduate students in the sciences or humanities. Here are 10 education-related options for faculty and students who want to bolster their contact lists or crowd-source questions about lab results and historical documents.

1. RESEARCHGATE: http://www.researchgate.net
Who it’s for: Scientists, scholars and anyone else with a paper to publish and a field of study. Engineering, medicine and biology are its members’ most common areas of specialization.
Purpose: To provide a platform for academics to share their work, get criticism from their peers and get to know colleagues.
Cost: Free.

2. EPERNICUS: https://www.epernicus.com/
Who it’s for: Scientists and researchers looking for answers from experts.
Purpose: To be like a Quora for the science community. Members have profiles showcasing their backgrounds and expertise. Epernicus wants to accelerate serendipitous meetings and discussion.
Cost: Free, but the company offers additional services for institutions.

3. LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/
Who it’s for: Teachers, administrators and professionals, regardless of vocation.
Purpose: To be the big, one-stop shop for professional networking. The site is for anyone, but its groups and job listings can be useful resources for academics.
Cost: Free with paid premium benefits available to job seekers.

4. ACADEMIA.EDU: http://academia.edu/
Who it’s for: Academics who want to share their research and provide feedback to colleagues.
Purpose: To make it easier for researchers to track down documents and stay up to date on what others are working on.
Cost: Free.

5. FACULTY ROW: http://www.facultyrow.com/
Who it’s for: Faculty members who want a communication platform and LinkedIn alternative that is focused on their industry.
Purpose: To let academics share their profiles and stay in touch via forums, messaging and video.
Cost: Free.

6. LORE: http://lore.com/
Who it’s for: Instructors looking for a network-based platform for teaching and interacting with students.
Purpose: To facilitate  learning with basic network and sharing options.
Cost: Free.

7. MENDELEY: http://www.mendeley.com/
Who it’s for: Researchers in scientific areas of study, particularly doctoral students working on long-term projects and with teams.
Purpose: Collaborative, resource-focused management of documents and references.
Cost: Free with additional storage and other premium options available at monthly rates.

8. LULOOT: http://luloot.com/
Who it’s for: Scholars looking to promote and share their work.
Purpose: To provide a more traditional social network with multimedia sharing and discussion.
Cost: $0.99/year.

9. ZOTERO: http://www.zotero.org/
Who it’s for: Multidisciplinary researchers with large libraries of notes of resources to keep track of.
Purpose: To provide tools for organizing, citing and sharing information over the courses of ongoing projects.
Cost: Free.

10. GOINGON: http://www.goingon.com/
Who it’s for: Campuses, students and faculty.
Purpose: To give colleges a platform for setting up private social networks that encourage interdisciplinary exploration and socializing.
Cost: Variable.

 

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