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Friday, November 19, 2010

Dueling studies: do Facebook and Twitter help or hurt students? by Jeffrey Van Camp

Two different studies have concluded opposite results about social networking sites. Teachers believe they harm students, while another study points out that Twitter can increase student engagement.

Photo: Digital Trends
The positive study followed a group of 125 students taking a pre-health class at a medium-sized public college, according to a report in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
70 of the students regularly used Twitter to discuss academic material together and with instructors while the remaining 55 did not. The students who used Twitter were quantifiably more engaged in the material and class than those who did not. Tweeters also posted higher grades than those who did not use social media. At the peak of the semester-long study, 612 tweets were exchanged between students in a single week.

In another small study, 500 British teachers were asked about how technology is affecting students, reports The Telegraph.
70 percent of them believed students are becoming more and more obsessed with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. 50 percent believed the obsession is affecting children’s ability to concentrate in class. The study concludes that the kids with the worst grades are spending the most time social networking.

The angry teachers weren’t done. 73 percent thought parents should better limit how much time children spend online and 58 percent believed mobile phones and computers have caused a decline in spelling. 54 percent said kids don’t write them sentences so good because they type on keyboards, like, all the time.

Source: Digital Trends