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Role of Social Media in Higher Education - Essay Example

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In the paper “Role of Social Media in Higher Education,” the author discusses social media, which has become a common trend with numerous and wide-ranging definitions in the public and academic spheres. Social media refers to mobile and web-based applications…
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Role of Social Media in Higher Education
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Role of Social Media in Higher Education
Social media has become a common trend with numerous and wide-ranging definitions in the public and academic spheres. It basic terms it refers to social interaction. For the purposes of this literature review, social media refers to mobile and web based applications that facilitates the creation, engagement and sharing of content in digital environments by the use of a multi way communication. The main difference between social media and conventional forms of media including news, television, radio and magazines is that social media content is reproduced for use on the web. Social media also contains design applications that establish virtual social spaces encouraging interaction, in that way enhancing the appeal of the technology. There has been increased use of social media in higher education and this literature review gives an in depth analysis of various scientific investigations.
Martinez, Ana M. and., Wartman, Lynk K. Online Social Networking On Campus: Understanding What Matters In Student Culture. New York: Routledge, 2009. Print.
In this age where online sites including Face book, Twitter, Live Journal, Instant Messenger, campus blogs and Web Shots, students in higher institutions of learning are using online sites as the major medium of communication. As anticipated, this medium of communication presents students with ethical decisions on acceptable behaviour, self-disclosure and social propriety. Owing to the fact that the extensive use of social media sites have posed numerous problems for students and administrators, the book seeks to give professional guidance to policy makers and higher education professionals. Online Social Networking on Campus: Understanding what matters in student culture is a certified guide for student affairs administrators and higher education facilities that carefully analyses the use of social media sites and their use to develop relations in the institutions and outside the institutions. More importantly, the book looks into how college students use social media sites to explore and establish their identities. The findings in this book are got from surveys, interviews and data from focus groups. Furthermore, the text gives an ethnographic perspective on social networking that helps information technology administrators, student affairs administrators and members of the faculty get a better understanding of the use of college media among college students.
Heiberger, Greg and Harper, Ruth. “Have You Facebooked Astin Lately? Using Technology to Increase Student Involvement.” New Directions for Student Services 124. 19‐35. (2008). Print.
Students in higher institutions of learning communicate using social media sites more than face-to-face communication. Administrators in higher institutions of learning must not only recognise this fact but also learn to use various forms of electronic media in for their benefit. Some of the benefits accruing from the use of social media including promotion of college events, helping students feel welcome and safe within the college environment and keep students connected within social networks. The article discusses Face book, an online communication site that allows its users to connect with larger groups of people. Face book was discovered by a Harvard student who recognised the potential of the untapped market that was to take freshmen through an electronic directory. Face book has over 100 million users and holds currently holds a market share of more than 85 percent of the market share within higher institutions of learning. The article analyses its current use and potential for its use as a way of increasing students’ involvement. College students are diverse and have different abilities, talents and interests so the administration in higher institutions of learning must come up with programs that support development of talents, abilities and interests. Administrators base their actions on theory and practice to find inventive ways to involve students in higher institutions of learning. Alexander Astin’s moel of student involvement (1984) is an effective framework that was used to assess how much the use of Face book impacts on student engagement. The article gives examples and recommendations on the use of Face book to promote student involvement.
Nealy, Michelle J. “The New Rules of Engagement.” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education 26. 3 (2009): 13. Print.
Students in higher institutions of learning are narrating their lives on social networks including Face book and MySpace with numerous videos, photos and status updates. Face book is the most popular social site that allows students in institutions of higher learning to digitally connect with individuals from various parts of the world and share their lives. The site has received increased popularity from members of the faculty and administration. Although the major purpose of social media sites is to share information and communicate with their friends, some students in institutions of higher learning are sharing too much information in the view of the administration and faculty members. This article states that Face book did not create a new set of responsibility for students in institutions of higher learning as before Face book was innovated, there were several channels of sharing inappropriate content including emails and blogs. The article concludes by stating that institutions of higher learning should come up with social networking policies that underscore appropriate behaviour on the social media sites.
Smith, Shannon D., Salaway, Gail and Caruso, Borreson J. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. Web. 6 Dec. 2009.
Since 2004, the yearly ECAR study on the behaviour of undergraduate students and IT has always sought to determine how IT impacts on the college experience. ECAR did a research by asking students in higher institutions of learning about technology and how they use it for social and academic purposes. The study also gathers information on how skilled students perceive technology and how they use it for learning purpose and their choice for IT courses. The ECAR study in 2009 is a longitudinal continuation of the studies carried out in previous years. The findings are based on data collected from a survey of 30, 616 seniors and freshmen in 12 two-year institutions and 103 four-year institutions of higher learning. Additionally, it included student focus groups from four institutions and an analysis of answers from open- ended questions. Over and above studying experience behaviours, student ownership and experience with regards to information technology, 2009 ECAR included a special segment that focused on the use of mobile internet and other hand – held devices.
Rhoades, Emily B., Irani, Tracy, Telg, Ricky and Myers, Brian E. “Internet as an Information Source: Attitudes and Usage of Students Enrolled in a College of Agriculture Course.” Journal of Agricultural Education 49. 2 (2009): 108‐117.
There has been increased usage of the internet in the US leading to a rise in the use of IT in the education sector. Research has shown that most students in higher institutions of learning are using the internet more often in their studies, particularly in the completion of assignments. Students have described the internet as a effective tool that helps them conduct research, access library materials and communicate with their professors. Owing to the increase use of the internet by students and educators, it is significant to access students’ attitudes to ascertain that they know how to effectively use the appropriate sites for different situations. This article entails a descriptive survey to investigate the attitudes and current usage of the internet by students pursuing agriculture courses in the University of Florida. Findings from the study demonstrate that students in the University of Florida commonly use the internet and social sites including Face book and MySpace. This is because students believe that information found on the internet is credible, easy to understand and beneficial. The study finally gives recommendations to instructors in classrooms.
Greenhow, Christine. “Tapping the Wealth of Social Networks for Professional Development.” Learning & Leading with Technology 36.8 (2009): 10‐11. Print.
In the modern world, information and communication technologies including Twitter, MySpace ad face book are some of the trendiest technologies available on the internet with numerous users across the global scene. There has been ongoing research on where people use them, for what reasons and how they affect their line of thought. This article investigates two trends of using these social media tools in the setting of a higher institution of learning. To start with, social bookmarking sites including CiteULike, Diigo and Delicious can be used for educative purposes. These sites provide information that facilitates teaching where instructors are concerned with coming up with effective research based practices where they can annotate, collect, share and recommend learning resources including websites, books, journal articles and contacts. Secondly, social media tools such as Face book and Twitter can be used to bring together collective recognition and support for the student’s creativity. In analysing the potential benefits and challenges of the social media in the education sector, the author concludes that the social media could offer a platform for new literacy practices and function as social learning resources.
Junco, Reynol and Cole‐Avent, Gail A. “An Introduction to Technologies Commonly Used by College Students.” New Directions for Student Services 124 (2008): 3‐17. Print.
In the contemporary world, college student have incorporated the use of technology in their daily communication. They use blogs, instant messaging, emails and social media sites including Twitter, Face book and MySpace than individuals from other generations. On the other hand, student affairs professionals use technology less and in varying ways from their students lagging behind in their use of technology and different forms of internet communication. In fact, the article states that there is an inverse relationship between age and internet usage for communication and access of information. The internet offers numerous advantages to its users including use for academic research, social networking, instant messaging, creating blogs and downloading features. It is mandatory for the instructors to familiarise themselves with the use of technology especially the social media sites and how they can use them to improve students’ engagement thereby improving learning outcomes. In summary, the article reviews the use of technology by college students, popular tools that are used by college students in the modern world and the significance of this information to instructors.
Madge, Clare. Meek, J., Wellens, Jane and Hooley, Tritsam. "Facebook," Social Integration and Informal Learning at University: "It is More for Socialising and Talking to Friends about Work than for Actually Doing Work". Learning, Media and Technology, 34.2 (2009): 141‐155. Print.
Recent studies indicate that more than 95 percent of the British undergraduate student population regularly uses social media sites. However, minimal research has been done on the use of social media sites to influence the students’ experience particularly their integration into life in higher institutions of learning. The article explores how prior registration in an institution’s Face book network impacts on subsequent registration on social media sites. Research in this article was conducted on freshmen in a British University through an online survey. Students indicated that they joined social media sites particularly Face book as a way of making new friends at the university and to keep in touch with their family and friends . Data collected from the survey also showed that Face book was an effective tool that enabled students easily adapt to the university life. However, the article states that face-to-face communication is an important aspect of social communication and cautions against excessive use of social media sites. Finally, students thought that Face book was more likely to be used for social communication, not for formal learning purposes although I was used for informal learning in some instances.
Robbins‐Bell, S. “Higher Education as Virtual Conversation.” EDUCAUSE Review, 43. 5, (2008): 24. Print.
There has been a distinct barrier between activities within and outside the classroom setting that has been difficult to bridge. However, different forms of social media have been used to create an interface between the two environments by improving communication among college students and the faculty. Social media sites not only facilitate communication but also rely solely on it. Popular social media sites including Face book, MySpace and Twitter facilitate discussions, numerous contributions and high levels of communication. There are four main characteristics of virtual worlds including wide area networks, avatars, persistence and multiuser. These features can be beneficial to learning and teaching in higher institutions of learning. Students use avatar to articulate themselves in a manner that is similar to their profile on social media sites resembling their personality in real life. Additionally, the ability to combine students from various parts of the world in a virtual world makes it possible to combine classes from various parts of the world.
Works Cited
Greenhow, Christine. “Tapping the Wealth of Social Networks for Professional Development.” Learning & Leading with Technology 36.8 (2009): 10‐11. Print.
Heiberger, Greg and Harper, Ruth. Have You Facebooked Astin Lately? Using Technology to Increase Student Involvement. New Directions for Student Services 124. 19‐35. (2008). Print.
Junco, Reynol and Cole‐Avent, Gail A. “An Introduction to Technologies Commonly Used by College Students.” New Directions for Student Services 124 (2008): 3‐17. Print.
Madge, Clare. Meek, J., Wellens, Jane and Hooley, Tritsam. "Facebook," Social Integration and Informal Learning at University: "It is More for Socialising and Talking to Friends about Work than for Actually Doing Work". Learning, Media and Technology, 34.2 (2009): 141‐155. Print.
Martinez, Ana M. and., Wartman, Lynk K. Online Social Networking On Campus: Understanding What Matters In Student Culture. New York: Routledge, 2009. Print.
Nealy, Michelle J. “The New Rules of Engagement.” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education 26. 3 (2009): 13. Print.
Rhoades, Emily B., Irani, Tracy, Telg, Ricky and Myers, Brian E. “Internet as an Information Source: Attitudes and Usage of Students Enrolled in a College of Agriculture Course.” Journal of Agricultural Education 49. 2 (2009): 108‐117.
Robbins‐Bell, S. “Higher Education as Virtual Conversation.” EDUCAUSE Review, 43. 5, (2008): 24. Print.
Smith, Shannon D., Salaway, Gail and Caruso, Borreson J. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. Read More
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