Social media tools for cognitive skill development


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Results of research aimed at assisting in the use of suitable social media for higher learning and cognitive skill development.

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Social media tools for cognitive skill development

  1. 1. Selecting Suitable Social Media Tools for Cognitive Skill Development Shelly Lyck June 27, 2013
  2. 2. Summary Research documented in this presentation is useful to educators who are committed to using social media tools to enhance their learners’ academic experience while also developing cognitive skills. Empirical evidence indicates that learners enjoy using social media tools, but it does not reveal that these tools aid in cognitive development. Educators must remain active in both the design and implementation of the learning process to ensure cognitive skill development takes place because most social media tools were not originally designed for education and learning purposes. (Ravenscroft, Warburton, Hatzipanagos, & Conole, 2012; Ferris 2012)
  3. 3. Research & Learning Goals 1) To determine the appropriate social media tool for use in curriculum relative to a given cognitive taxonomic level 2) To incorporate suitable social media into curriculum in order to enhance content retention 3) To share research results with interested parties
  4. 4. Web 2.0 – A new generation  Technology that supports communication and sharing as opposed to passively viewing information online  Software download is not usually required  Many tools are available at no cost  “Transparent technology” - tools are easy to use; many learners and educators already use social media in their personal lives (Tunks, 2012)
  5. 5. Educational Benefits of Using Social Media Tools  Greater learner interest and engagement  Learners take more control and responsibility for their education (Blankenship, 2011)  Continues to build community outside the traditional classroom (Moody, 2010)  Double loop learning – concept and content as well as relations-among-concepts learning (Proserpio & Gioia, 2007)
  6. 6. Considerations for Social Media Tool Use 1) Attention: place social media so that it does not distract learners 2) Participation: accept use of appropriate posts and comments only 3) Collaboration: learners must “listen” to others; loners derail progress 4) Network Awareness: learners must be literate in how the social media network operates 5) Critical Consumption: learners need to determine what information is reliable and disposable (Blankenship, 2011)
  7. 7. Educator Role Shifts  Identify useful webs of relationships among concepts and content  Provide rationales for understanding those relations  Guide learners in ways to search for and frame or reframe information and knowledge  Address privacy issues and the integrity of learner assignment submissions (Proserpio & Gioia, 2007; Percival & Muirhead, 2009; Moran, Seaman & Tinti-Kane, 2011)
  8. 8. Cognitive Taxonomic Levels Knowledge • Remembers previously learned material Comprehension • Grasps the meaning of material Application • Uses learning in new and concrete situations Analysis • Understands both the content and structure of material Evaluation • Judges the value of material for a given purpose Synthesis • Formulates new structures from existing knowledge and skills (British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2010)
  9. 9. Educational Social Media Tools
  10. 10. Online Chats & Discussion Boards…  Promote student interaction and course content discussion even outside of class - wikis  Encourage second language learners to participate in discussion  Obligate learners to respond to others who respond to their postings  Encourage more reflective thought, critical thinking and aligning content with larger perspectives (Blackmon, 2012)
  11. 11. Blogs…  Echo traditional academic communication so are the most “education friendly” social media tool  Provide for self-reflection and public voice  Require research and composition skills  Diminish passive learning as learners create their own blogs and comment on others’ blogs  Community blogs promote dialogue, critical thinking, problem solving and reflection  Integrate into existing content smoothly (Bartholomew, Jones, & Glassman, 2012)
  12. 12. Microblogs…  Involve the posting of small pieces of digital content on the internet – text, pictures, links, short videos – Twitter is a popular site  Useful for small group brainstorming sessions  Used to share impressions and critiques of a particular event  Permit learners to gain knowledge by following professional groups or organizations  Allow learners to build community outside the traditional classroom (Tunks, 2012; Educause Learning Initiative, 2009)
  13. 13. Social Networking Sites…  Allow instructors to become part of the collaborative process with their learners – encouraging critical discussion  Provide space for information exchange including articles, lectures, videos  Encourage shy persons to participate  Contribute to community building outside the traditional classroom  Provide portfolio building opportunities for learners (Blackmon, 2012; Moody, 2010)
  14. 14. Videos…  Enhance traditional lectures and learner presentations  Encourage learner creativity and application of content  Allow a greater selection of guest speakers with use of Skype (Moody, 2010)
  15. 15. Virtual Learning: Simulations & Games…  Allow multiple opportunities to implement different strategies for problem solving  Provide levels of difficulty for learners to accomplish before proceeding  Present a safe place to make errors and learn from them  Serve to enhance community building and sharing of information as well as develop individual knowledge and skill (Proserpio & Gioia, 2007; Educase Learning Initiative, 2006)
  16. 16. Results Social Media Tool Online Chats & Discussion Boards Blogs Microblogs Social Networking Sites Video Virtual Learning Cognitive Taxonomic Level  Comprehension, Application, Analysis  Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis  Knowledge, Application, Evaluation  Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Evaluation  Comprehension, Application, Synthesis  Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis
  17. 17. Conclusions Where higher learning cognitive skill development is concerned, blogging, creating videos and participating in virtual learning are most favourable. Microblogging, participating in social networks and passively observing video seem more suited to the development of lower level cognitive skills. Social network sites also promote mid level skills where learners can apply knowledge by building portfolios or presentations. Online chats and discussion boards, which also include wikis, also work best to enhance the building of lower to mid level cognitive skills.
  18. 18. References Bartholomew, M., Jones, T., & Glassman, M. (2012, July/August). A community of voices: Educational blog management strategies and tools. TechTrends, 56(4), 19-25. doi:10.1007/s11528-012-0583-3 Blackmon, S. J. (2012, July). Outcomes of chat and discussion board use in online learning: A research synthesis. Journal of Educators Online, 9(2), 1-19. Retrieved from Blankenship, M. (2011, March). How social media can and should impact higher education. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, 39-42. Retrieved from British Columbia Institute of Technology. (2010). Writing learning outcomes. Retrieved from Educause Learning Initiative. (2009, July). 7 things you should know about…microblogging. Retrieved from Educause Learning Initiative. (2006, June). 7 things you should know about…virtual worlds. Retrieved from Ferris, D. (2012, June). Social media and collaboration tools. Workforce Management, 91(6). Retrieved from
  19. 19. References Moody, M. (2010, Spring). Teaching Twitter and beyond: Tips for incorporating social media in traditional courses. Journal of Magazine & New Media Research, 11(2), 1-9. Retrieved from Moran, M., Seaman, J., & Tinti-Kane, H. (2011, April). Teaching, learning, and sharing: How today’s higher education faculty use social media. Retrieved from Percival, J., & Muirhead, B. (2009). Prioritizing the implementation of e-learning tools to enhance the post- secondary learning environment. Journal of Distance Education, 23(1), 90-106. Retrieved from http://www. Proserpio, L., & Gioia, D. (2007). Teaching the virtual generation. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 6(1), 69-80. Retrieved from Ravenscroft, A., Warburton, S., Hatzipanagos, S. & Conole, G. (2012). Designing and evaluating social media for learning: Shaping social networking into social learning? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28, 177–182. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00484.x Tunks, K.W. (2012, July). An introduction and guide to enhancing online instruction with Web 2.0 tools. Journal of Educators Online, 9(2), 1-16. Retrieved from