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Social Networking Sites in Learning Environments: What Students Want?

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social media in education. presentation at the MADLaT conference in Winnipeg, 2013

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Social Networking Sites in Learning Environments: What Students Want?

  1. 1. Social Networking Sites in Learning Environments: What Students Want? Gary Schnellert Plamen Miltenoff University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota 12th Annual MADLaT Conference, May 2013 This presentation available @: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/conf2013/madlat/Schnellert_Miltenoff_educational_use_of_social_media.pptx
  2. 2. The team, the players… Dr. Gary Schnellert, UND, North Dakota Dr. Plamen Miltenoff, SCSU, Minnesota Dr. John Hoover, SCSU, Minnesota Dr. Galin Tzokov, Plovdiv University, Bulgaria Four faculty members conducted empirical research on the use of Social Networking Sites in education. The results reveal a clear cultural difference in faculty and students perception regarding the use of Social Networking Sites in the teaching and learning process, specifically as a potential replacement for Course Management Systems, such as Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, etc. A discussion on the potential of Facebook and similar Social Networking Sites will be based on the results from the research.
  3. 3. Social media in the bibliography… As of April 2009, 46% of online American adults, age 18 and older, used SNS such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, up from 8% in February 2005 (Pew Internet Survey, http://www.pewinternet.org/Infographics/Growth-in-Adult-SNS-Use-20052009.aspx). • The popularity of Facebook among young people led to attempts to adapt it for educational purposes, a direction that Johnson (2010) termed “educational networking.” • A team of European researchers (Vasalou, et al., 2010) focused on SNS’s design issues and the effects of SNS on users across multicultural environments, administering a questionnaire to 432 Facebook users from five different countries. They discovered no differences between U.S. users and those from the four other nations. • A team of British researchers (Jones, et al., 2009) administered questionnaires to 76 students and interviewed 14 to find out whether Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook and MySpace, affected student learning. Among other results, they discovered “a massive use of educational technology” and “distinct divide between the learning space and personal space” (p. 781). • Roblyer et al. wrote that, “students tended to check both email and Facebook with equal frequency…, while faculty members proved significantly more likely to check email…” (p. 138).
  4. 4. Our research Participants: Bulgaria: 58 instructors and 183 students United States: 125 instructors and 218 students Instrumentation: Questionnaires in English and Bulgarian on SurveryMonkey. Data analysis: SPSS version 18.0, ANOVA, cross-national comparissons
  5. 5. 66.8 66.5 37.5 40.6 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bulgaria U. S.A. Frequent use by category and country Students Instructors
  6. 6. 4.04 4.08 3.32 2.91 0 1 2 3 4 5 BG Instructors BG Students U.S. InstructorsU.S. Students SNS leads to increased collaboration
  7. 7. 3.88 3.88 3.32 2.93 0 1 2 3 4 5 BG Instructors BG Students U.S. Instructors U.S. Students SNS lead to democratization of learning
  8. 8. 3.85 3.21 3.32 2.48 1 2 3 4 5 BG Instructors BG Students U.S. Instructors U.S. Students SNS lends itself to student motivation
  9. 9. 3.42 4.39 3.62 3.23 1 2 3 4 5 BG Instructors BG Students U.S. Instructors U.S. Students I am comfortable with SNS applications (any use)
  10. 10. 3.66 3.37 3.22 2.48 1 2 3 4 5 BG Instructors BG Students U.S. Instructors U.S. Students SNS lends itself to student engagement
  11. 11. Findings Previously, we found quite a significant digital divide between Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria and the U.S that we attributed to infrastructure and hardware differences (Miltenoff et al., 2009). The digital divide in the current study occurs between generations (Miltenoff et al., 2011). Students’ and instructors’ personal use of social networking appears very similar The reason why field experience use is relatively common may be that Facebook is available on mobile devices while typical course support software tends not to be (though this is certainly changing, it was probably the case when this study was completed).
  12. 12. Discussion SNS such as Facebook as an alternative to CMS U.S. students consider SNS their “virtual mall,” whereas BG students are willing to compromise with educational goals Does U.S. education pay too much to commercial products, including CMS? Is “open source” less expensive alternative? Is the digital divide between nations closing? Can distance education thrive across borders? Please have a link to our paper: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/conf2013/madlat/facebook.docx
  13. 13. Further Areas of Exploration What role should social media play in education? What role should faculty assume in fostering the use of social media in education?
  14. 14. This presentation available @: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/conf2013/madlat/Schnellert_Miltenoff_educational_use_of_social_media.pptx gary.schnellert@email.und.edu pmiltenoff@stcloudstate.edu @SCSUtechinstruc #madlat

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