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Social Media Pedagogy


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Poster presentation for Social Media & Society conference held in TOoronto at Ryerson University July 27-29

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Social Media Pedagogy

  1. 1. Michael  Nantais,  Ph.D.   Brandon  University   Faculty  of  Educa5on   @MikeN_bu   The  findings  presented  in  this  poster  presenta5on  come  from  the   author’s  Ph.D.  disserta5on  (2014).       Study  Purpose  &  Ques:ons   Research  purpose:  to  examine  the  recent  phenomenon  of  using   social  media  in  the  grades  7-­‐12  classroom  for  teaching  from  the   perspec5ve  of  the  teacher.  Specific  research  ques*ons  were,       1.  How,  and  why,  do  teachers  use  social  media  as  part  of   their  prac:ce?       2.  What  are  teachers'  perspec:ves  of  their  experience   incorpora:ng  social  media  in  their  prac:ce?       3.  What  factors  support  or  hinder  teachers'  use  of  social   media  in  their  prac:ce?       4.  Does  incorpora:ng  social  media  into  teaching  lead  to   change  in  teachers’  pedagogical  prac:ces  and  beliefs?   What  is  the  nature  of  this  change?       Methodology   A  qualita5ve,  interpre5vist  mul5ple  case  study  approach   (Merriam,  2009;  Willis,  2007)  was  used  to  follow  nine  teachers  in   a  rural  Canadian  prairie  school  as  they  explored  and   implemented  various  social  media  in  their  teaching  prac5ces.  A   hermeneu5c  and  phenomenological  approach  formed  the   theore5cal  framework  guiding  this  study.       Data  sources:  several  interview  sessions  with  each  par5cipant   and  with  the  school  Principal,  relevant  documents,  and  social   media  interac5ons.  Analysis  used  a  thema5c  approach  employing   a  constant  compara5ve  method  (Merriam,  2009).  Concept  maps   and  word  frequency  clouds  aided  analysis.   Social  Media  Pedagogy  (a  mul5ple  case  study)   M.  Nantais,  Ph.D.   The  Study  Context   Par:cipant  Voices   Themes  arising  in  the  Data   Why  Use  Social  Media?   “They  [students]  are  tethered  to  them.  .  .  .  They’re   connected.  They  are  wired  differently  and  we  have   to  accept  it,  so  why  not  teach  them  more  about   it?”  (James)     Summary  of  Findings   “No  maber  what  tools  we  use  in  the  classroom,  there  are  always  going  to  be   plusses  and  minuses  .  .  .  it’s  just  one  more  thing,  one  more  trade-­‐off.”  (Mary)   “I  have  really  gone  to  a  more  flexible  schedule  with  the  kids  .  .  .   social  media  certainly  has  helped  that.”  (Mary)   “I  think  it  gives  them  [students]  a  ‘sense  of  empowerment’  ”  (John)     “What’s  been  gained  is,  believe  it  or  not,  you  connect  more  with  the   kids.”  (Frank)   “I  think  before  there  was  this  tension,  there  was  this  us  versus  them   mentality  where  the  kids  where  trying  to  hide  and  pull  one  over  on  the   teacher  and  you  don’t  see  that  anymore.    You  see  the  kids  being  comfy   in  .  .  .  communica5ng  on  a  different  level  with  teachers  now.”  (John)   •  The  meaning  of  ‘social  media’  is  uncertain  among  teachers  and   could  lead  to  confusion  in  research  and  prac5ce.     •  Teachers  have  a  variety  of  underlying  reasons  for  using  social   media  –  used  in  a  variety  of  ways,  to  meet  a  variety  of  purposes.   This  reinforces  the  conten5on  that  its  use  is  personal  and   contextual  -­‐  there  is  no  one  best  tool  to  use,  or  way  to  use  it.     •  Teachers  iden5fied  a  number  of  factors  that  supported  their  use   of  social  media.  Among  these  were  access  to  working  technology   and  good  connec5vity;  support  from  all  stakeholders  (students,   parents,  and  administra5on);  technical  support;  and  professional   learning  opportuni5es.     •  Teachers  iden5fied  a  number  of  factors  that  hindered  the  use  of   social  media.  A  major  issue  was  a  lack  of  access  to  technology,  or   technology  that  was  not  working.  Other  issues:  privacy,  safety,   mul5ple  spaces,  and  the  possibility  of  the  technology  ac5ng  as  a   distrac5on.  The  biggest  barrier  was  a  lack  of  *me,  due  to   compe5ng  priori5es  and  hec5c  schedules.     •  It  would  appear  that  the  use  of  social  media  had  an  effect  on  the   teachers’  pedagogical  prac5ces.  Change  ranged  from  adding  new   strategies  to  contribu5ng  to  transforma*ve  change.       •  Par5cipants  noted  that  using  social  media,  in  conjunc5on  with   other  factors,  had  observable  effects  on  the  school  environment.   Par5cipants  described  an  increase  in  communica5on  between   students  and  teachers,  and  a  sense  of  student  empowerment   that  fostered  a  culture  of  respect,  responsibility,  and  trust.     “It’s  made  me  take  more  chances  .  .  .  I  am  not  afraid  to  use  it  anymore”  (John)   Par5cipants  made  use  of  social  media  in  their   teaching  for  a  variety  of  reasons,  illustrated  here.   Chief  among  them  was  that  it  was  seen  as  “where  the   kids  are  at”  (Ann)  and    “It’s  part  of  the  life  of  our   students  in  our  school  .  .  .  you  are  rela5ng  to  kids  in   their  own  lingo.”  (Joseph)         The  Study   “I  just  haven’t  got  5me  now.”  (Frank)     “.  .  .  5me  to  learn  all  this  and  keep  up  with  all  your  [other]  school  stuff.”  (Sally)   “look  beyond  ques.ons  of  how  technology  could  and  should  be  used,  and  instead  ask  ques.ons  about  how  technology  is  actually  being  used  in  prac.ce”     (Selwyn,  2014)