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Social Media: An Integration Guideline for Teaching and Learning: Why social media for teaching and learning

Subject Guide

Wei Zakharov's picture
Wei Zakharov
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Get A Grip (Graduation Student Orientation)

What is social media

According to Purdue University Policy (Effective Feb 1st, 2013), Social media refers to “any online medium that allows a user to create and publish content (e.g., text, photos, video)”. This includes wikis, blogs, podcasts and third-party websites including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Plus.” ‚Äč

Why social media for teaching and learning

Social media, one of the hallmarks of early twenty-first century technological innovation, creates a number of open questions about the way people communicate, the speed of how ideas travel, and the future of internet-connected networks. Social media websites are redefining the limits of where one’s virtual “presence” coincides or sometimes conflicts with one’s “real” life. Beyond reshaping society’s norms and values, social media has tangible effects seen in everyday life, including the lives of today’s college students:

Do you use social media?

  • Technology in every facet of their daily life
    • Today’s students bring to class more than just a notebook and pencil. Many wield an assortment of electronic gadgets, such as smart phones, tablets, netbooks, and notebooks. The identities (shape, size, weight) and abilities (computing power, multi-tasking, etc.) of these types of devices change frequently.
    • Each type of device enables them to connect to powerful social media apps, such as Facebook, YouTube, Dropbox, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Linkedin. These websites go beyond being content delivery systems, they are powerful collaboration communities.
    • Students prefer information to be sent to their email and through text messaging much more than postal mail. Many use their camera phone exclusively for taking and sharing still photos and videos- from parties to evidence of an important event.

 

  • Technologically savvy or digital immigrant vs. digital native
    • Digital immigrants are not necessarily defined by socio-economic status, it may be purely caused by the environment in which an individual is raised and educated. More importantly, it is entirely up to the individual what technologies they wish to adapt to and others they avoid. Device wise, many students may still carry flip phones and/or keep a desktop computer in their dorm room. Application wise, students may not necessarily have a Facebook profile and/or ever tweeted anything. Technology adoption may rely on comfort and worth to the individual.
    • Digital natives are not necessarily based on their past socio-economic status, as devices and applications.

 

  • Overwhelming information
    • Researchers and professors know this subject quite well, but students may not be prepared for the wealth of information that hits them after high school. Depending on the educational background of a student, the amount of resources that they will be expected to engage with may be significantly larger than what was available in their K-12 experiences.
    • Specifically, social media communities are continuing to grow at a staggering rate. Facebook as of October 2012 had over one billion active users, which does not count the enormous array of pages and groups. While the variety may assist students with specific interests, the ability to use Facebook to focus on academics could be challenging for most students.

 

  • Expect immediate connectivity as well as access to resources and information
    • Because network connection speeds at Purdue can reach up to realtime speeds of 7Mbs or more, students can literally connect to whatever resource they need to very quickly.
    • Students enjoy robust, attractive, and easy to use interfaces. Very few students arrive at the university library to crack open a 50lb encyclopedia, instead you see a virtual information delivery service on their device’s screen.

 

  • Is it time for faculty to seize the opportunity to reach students through social media
    • Students tend to respect faculty who adapt to the new technologies and attempt to reach out their interest and choice of communication mediums.
    • More than for play, social media communities are increasingly becoming the home of prominent scientists, entrepreneurs and investors, literary authors, actors/actresses, the list goes on. The professional nature of communities, like Linkedin, enable students to better their chances of employment.
    • Using social media is now easier than ever before and most importantly, free.

References

Anoush, M., Allison, L., & Gabrielle, V. (2011). Are digital natives a myth or reality? University students’ use of digital technologies. Computers & Education, 56429-440. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2010.09.004

Dirk, I., & Volker, S. (2013). The acceptance of Tablet-PCs in classroom instruction: The teachers’ perspectives. Computers In Human Behavior, 29525-534. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.004

Eunmo, S., & Richard E., M. (n.d). Students' beliefs about mobile devices Vs. desktop computers in South Korea and the United States. Computers & Education, 591328-1338. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.05.005

Everson, M., Gundlach, E., & Miller, J. (2013). Social media and the introductory statistics course. Computers in Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.12.033

Florin D., S., Dieter J., S., & Blaine M., C. (2010). Student and faculty inter-generational digital divide: Fact or fiction?. Computers & Education, 551393-1403. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2010.06.017

Hrastinski, S., & Aghaee, N. M. (2012). How are campus students using social media to support their studies? An explorative interview study. Education and Information Technologies, 17(4), 451-464. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-011-9169-5

Mobile learning and student success. (2013). Studio by Purdue University. Retrieved from http://www.itap.purdue.edu/studio/

Ortutay, B. (2012, October 4). Facebook's 2012: IPO, a Billion Users and a Shift to Mobile. USA Today, p. 1. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2012/10/04/facebook-tops-1-billion-users/1612613/

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On The Horizon, 9(5), 1. doi:10.1108/10748120110424816

Purdue Air Link. (2013). Information Technology at Purdue. Retrieved from http://www.itap.purdue.edu/airlink/

Smith, J., Given, L., Julien, H., Ouellette, D., & DeLong, K. (2013). Information literacy proficiency: Assessing the gap in high school students' readiness for undergraduate academic work. Library & Information Science Research (07408188), 35(2), 88-96.

Yolanda Jacobs, R., Erin, B., Chen, C., & Kevin, O. (2012). Empirical user studies inform the design of an e-notetaking and information assimilation system for students in higher education. Computers & Education, 52893-913. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.013