SOCIAL MEDIA AND EDUCATION: FRIENDS OR FOES?

TitreSOCIAL MEDIA AND EDUCATION: FRIENDS OR FOES?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsFaizi, R, Afia, AEl, Chiheb, R
EditorChova, LG, Martinez, AL, Torres, IC
Conference NameICERI2014: 7TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
ISBN Number978-84-617-2484-0
Abstract

Though being relatively a recent addition to the internet landscape, social media have witnessed an exponential growth in the last few years. These are used today in every aspect of our personal and professional lives and are infiltrating nearly every field, including education. In fact, students all over the world are greatly immersed in these web-based applications and have recourse to them to interact with friends, play games and watch television and most importantly to learn. Given the increasing use of these technologies for educational purposes, many educators have started questioning the validity and usefulness of such tools in education, stating that they may distract students and disengage them from learning. The objective of this paper is, therefore, to evaluate the use of these social online platforms in education. To this end, a survey was conducted to examine the perceptions and attitudes of higher education students towards using these tools for learning purposes. Results of the research study revealed that 49% of the informants devote more than 40% of the time they spend on social media to enhance their learning experience. Concerning the students' contributions on these social online platforms, it has been noticed that the great majority of the participants in the survey are active members in these networks as they tend to share learning materials and resources. Taking these findings into account, we may claim that social media applications present many educational advantages for students, hence, contribute in providing opportunities for further learning. As such, they provide educators with an opportunity to go beyond traditional delivery formats and design student-centered customized learning environments.

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