Online bookstores are getting more popular for obvious and logical reasons. Many students today do not like the idea of having a hard time finding the textbooks they need in brick and mortar bookshops. They dislike the idea of not being able to buy their books because copies have run out or because other editions are still unsold in the bookshelves.
It is not surprising that more and more students prefer to buy from online bookstores these days. But as to be expected, they maximize the use of those Websites. Many students now use online bookstores as social networks. This can be more advantageous because they can limit their online social network exposure only to other students from their schools or from other universities.
How can a typical online bookstore serve as a social network as well and help facilitate student learning? Here are some practical ideas.
Tracking book purchases
Online bookstores can of course facilitate tracking of textbook purchases by students. Users can use the information to find other students who have bought and who are using the same textbooks they use. That can be a good foundation for establishing connection.
They can begin interaction through discussing their common denominator – the textbooks. From there, they can start exchanging information from personal data to academic knowledge. As they go on, they can discuss with each other their insights and learnings about specific content in textbooks. Many students will benefit from using social networks for completing homework and having interesting discourse online.
Creating discussion groups
Online bookstores serving as social networks as well must have features that facilitate messaging (instant and emails). Thus, they can host discussions among groups of students who want to exchange knowledge about lessons in textbooks. This is widely used today through existing forums, wherein students post and leave messages to the entire group to answer questions or challenge some insights.
Instant messaging helps groups conduct discussions in real time without having to go out to meet somewhere. Students only need to log online, get into the portal, and join instant messaging discussion groups (more like chat rooms). They can exchange information and insights instantly. The advantage of this is that big files and videos can even be attached and shared to be viewed by other students in the same group. This can take student learning to a higher and more effective level. No one can doubt that it will surely work.
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