More Faculty Using Social Media in the Classroom
by Jonathan Dame
A month before they walked into her classroom last fall, Krista Jackman told her freshmen writing students to join Twitter.
Their assignment: get to know each other.
“My goal in all the classes that I teach is to get my students as comfortable as I can as quickly as I can,” says Jackman, a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire.
According to a study released in October by Pearson Learning Solutions and the Babson Survey Research Group, Jackman is not alone in mixing academics and social media.
The survey of over 8,000 faculty found that 41 percent of college professors use social media as a teaching tool, up from around 34 percent in 2012.
“What we have been trying to get to with this research for the past couple of years … is to really get an understanding of how social media can be used effectively in the teaching and learning process,” says Hester Tinti-Kane, co-author of the report, and Pearson Learning Solutions’s vice president for marketing and social media strategy.
In its definition of social media, the study includes blogs, wikis and podcasts, as well as more obvious platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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