Electronic or online simulations differ from role plays because the activities conducted in a simulation are real and not just acting. The tools for electronic simulations can be simple e-mails, mobile phone SMS, chat boards etc. The advantage of an electronic simulation is that the participants can come from different countries. The disadvantage in advanced simulations is the high level of computer skills that is often involved.
Strike is an example of a simulation suitable for intermediate or advanced students. In the Strike simulation, students have individual “roles”. The simulation takes place at ADAMENT (afactory) where a clash of opinions causes a strike.
The scenario: one of the electricians, who is always late for work, is sacked after an argument with the foreman. The shop steward calls a meeting during which the employees decide to strike. They claim that the factory is a nineteenth century sweatshop with a very bad working environment.
They also claim the electrician has been victimised by the foreman due to the many conflicts in thefactory. None of the parties seems willing to budge an inch, but ADAMENT is being pressurizeded by one of the customers who urgently needsa specific product. The customer threatens to take the order elsewhere ...
The students are divided into two main groups according to their roles. Group one - Employer, managers, foreman etc. Group B - the shop steward, the electrician, different workers. Each group can meet online to prepare for meetings between the two groups. The teacher’s / organizer’s role is to ensure that the simulation stays "alive", i.e. if needed s/he can send the managers an e-mail from their custumer, or send the employees an e-mail from the trade union stating that the strike is illegal and must come to an end. The simulation ends when the two parties come to an agreement.
Town Planning: another online simulation is called Town Planning. In this simulation the class is divided into two groups. The students in group A are town planners who have the task of preparing a proposal for the construction of a new neighbourhood at the Odense Fjord. Group B are ecologists who prefer the area to be preserved as a natural reserve, but they have to accept that there is a need for a new neighbourhood. Each group has its own online sessions with the teacher, where they start preparing their proposals for the other group. When ready, they invite the other group to an online conference, (there will probably be a number of conferences) during which the students negotiate and make suggestions using both online audio and an electronic whiteboard system.
Social Networking websites
A social network focuses on building and developing social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities. A social network service essentially consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), her/his social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web based and provide means for users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Although online community services are sometimes considered as social network services in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centred service whereas online community services are group-centred. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.
The main types of social networking services are those which contain category places (such as a former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked by trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and LinkedIn widely used worldwide.
Some of the largest social networks were founded on the notion of digitizing real world connections, many other networks focus on categories, ranging from books and music to non-profit business to motherhood, as ways to provide both services and community to individuals with shared interests.
Facebook www.facebook.com is the most widely used social network by worldwide monthly active users. Since September 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address has been able to become a Facebook user. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by workplace, school, or college. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US, with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking sitewww.linkedin.com mainly used for professional networking. As of 8 April 2010 (2010 -04-08)[update], LinkedIn had more than 65 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
Twitter www.twitter.com is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers, who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Since late 2009, users can follow lists of authors instead of following individual authors. All users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS), or external applications (notably including those developed for smartphones). While the service itself costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees. The website currently has more than 100 million users worldwide.