Social Media in the Classroom
More and more elements of our lives are becoming connected with information and communication tools (ICTs), such as email and social media. In some areas the interactivity the ICTs bring is very positive, but not all areas. Researchers at Concordia University have discovered that one of these areas may be higher education.
Early 2011 the researchers got 15,020 students and 2640 instructors to fill out a survey on their course structure preferences, perceptions of teaching methods, and technical knowledge. Some of what the survey found is not too surprising; the students were more adept with social media than the older instructors who preferred email. When it came to the use of social media in the classroom though, the perception of it was flipped from what you would expect. The students preferred traditional, engaging lectures to the interactivity available with ICTs, which the instructors thought were very well received.
The researchers hope their results of their research will be applied to schools throughout North America and Europe, where its conclusions should also be valid. It is certainly worth knowing that while ICTs do bring new capabilities to the classroom, these capabilities should not always be used to replace the old standards.