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Social Media Poll Sheds Light on Student Use
posted by: Alix | April 19, 2011, 02:18 PM   

While everyone knows that technology has changed our world, policymakers and education experts are still debating the value of social media in the modern day classroom. In a technology driven world, the possibilities of engaging students in social media for educational purposes are endless. However, while we know teenagers are glued to their smart phones and iPads, are they committed to engaging in this technology for school? A new Associated Press-Viacom poll sheds new light on what teens are really using social media for- and you just may be surprised.

The poll finds that while young people use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter for staying connected to their friends and favorite pop culture figures, they're also engaged in these technologies as a means to make school and career connections.

Among the findings of the poll, four out of five high school and college students say websites are an excellent or good way to interact with fellow students, more than half indicated that they're equally effective for getting information on class assignments or school events, or to form study groups and collaborate with peers. Just over half say the Internet is useful to look up ratings on teachers and professors. Among students who are employed or interning, 62 percent say social networking is helpful in interactions with co-workers.

When it comes to the impact of various media on their education, students rank the Internet on top, with over half of survey respondents indicating it has the largest effect on how they learn. Printed books followed closely with television lagging at 24 percent, with newspapers, radio, movies and magazines ranking even further down the list.

Not only is social media having an impact on students, but their interactions in the classrooms are changing as well using technology. Students said laptop computers were the top item they use in the classroom for note-taking, followed by smart phones, cameras, audio recorders, tablet computers and camcorders.

While social media is seen as an innovation in education it can also become a distraction. A large majority of students surveyed said social media a good way to distract themselves while keeping tabs on their family and friends' activities.

This poll is certainly helpful in gauging student interest in social media and whether or not they see these technologies as tools for learning. Like anything else, the balance between using technology to get the latest notes for class and the pull toward a friend's pictures can be the biggest challenge.

Do you think the results of this poll strengthen the case for social media in the classroom?

Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Ronnie from Arkansas, April 20, 2011

I am not for sure. I know many of my students who check my website regularly for notes and assignments, but if I allowed them to use their technology during class, then I think they would get off task very quickly due to the pull of other material on the internet.
written by Kari from Ohio, April 19, 2011

Attached is another poll from OSU which technologies students desire to use in the classroom. I saw the presentation at a social media conference at OSU.

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