Messengers and Chats – Technologies of Learning
Technology-mediated communication has expanded the possibilities of communicative support of the educational process. Even 10 years ago, students used communication for social and entertainment purposes, but today e-communication related to education is widespread. This research is based on a qualitative analysis of the content of the peer-discussion and survey of Swiss and Russian students (N=1069). Peer-communication serves many purposes, from clarifying work/duty and sharing useful information to collaborative activity. When a student faces a problem while completing an assignment, seeking help from other students prevails over communication with the teacher. Students in Russia communicate more often with fellow students (68% do it at least once a week) on a wide range of issues, Swiss students communicate less often (44%– at least once a week) primarily on the assignment topic. Swiss students prefer to use for peer-communication messengers (76% “definitely” and 13% “likely” choose it) and Russian ones like social media chat (61% “definitely” and 12% “likely”). Some activities require specific features of communication channels, in particular, some students prefer a videoconference for active joint interaction, and emails for a file transfer. Taking into account the fact that students are united and ready to work together for learning purposes can help in building a new collaborative educational environment, where communication technologies play an important role.