International Review of Research in Open and Distributed LearningThis paper deploys notions of emergence, connections, and designs for learning to conceptualize high school students’ interactions when using online social media as a learning environment. It makes links to chaos and complexity theories and to fractal patterns as it reports on a part of the first author’s action research study, conducted while she was a teacher working in an Australian public high school and completing her PhD. The study investigates the use of a Ning online social network as a learning environment shared by seven classes, and it examines students’ reactions and online activity while using a range of social media and Web 2.0 tools. More...