Study Suggests American Teachers Avoid Social Media Use For Classroom Learning

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20th January 2014 16:50 - Education

According to a survey released by the University of Phoenix, many teachers are using social networking in their personal lives to connect and communicate with friends and colleagues, but have not incorporated this technology into their interactions with students and parents due to concerns about negative repercussions.

The survey asked 1,005 full-time teachers in grades K-12 (Primary and Secondary) about their social networking usage, of which, four-fifths (80%) said they used social media for personal or professional use, but only a fifth (18%) said they had integrated social media into their own classrooms. Slightly more than half of teachers said they had no plans to use social media with their students. About a quarter of respondents said they hadn’t yet used social media in their classes, but wanted to do so.

Four-fifths (80%) of teachers surveyed worried about negative outcomes arising from the use of social networking, and a third (34%) who use social media said they had experienced these types of repercussions. Nearly seventy percent said they believe that parents use social networking to monitor teachers’ work or personal lives.

There are also operational barriers to using social media in school. Only three in ten (28%) teachers said they could access social networking sites via computers in their schools.

Kath Cook, the Director of Education Technology for the University of Phoenix College Education said:

“Teachers are missing out on an important educational tool by failing to use social networking for educational purposes… They see the benefits of using social media to connect with parents and engage students, but they're concerned about conflicts that can occur. The main thing they're concerned about is parents checking up on them, combining their personal life and their professional life.”

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