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Running head: USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

How does the use of social media, like Facebook, affect communication and education among
students, parents and teachers?
Christie R. Seefeld
ETD 624
Saginaw Valley State University

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Abstract

The review of literature contained 25 sources that concentrated with use of social media, like
Facebook, and the effect on communication among parents and teachers. There were four main
focus areas that included social media and education, Facebook and student engagement,
advantages of social media technologies and Facebook as an educational environment. All
information was related to using social media, like Facebook, to communicate between students,
parents, and educators.
Keywords: Facebook, education, communication, social relationships, participation

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Table of Contents

Abstract

Table of Contents

Literature Review
Introduction
Social Media and Education
Facebook and Student/Parent Engagement
Advantages of Social Media Technologies
Facebook as an Educational Environment
Conclusion

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References

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Literature Review

The main technology that was increasing among educators was social media. The use of
social media was the ability to generate connections among people (Churcher, 2014). Facebook
had managed to establish itself as one of the most popular social media sites within the last 5
years. In this literature review, the use of social media, like Facebook, had affected
communication and education among students, parents and teachers. Facebook had allowed for
major universities and other educational facilities to become one of the major daily routines
among young adults (Joan, 2015). While social networking activities continue to grow, Facebook
had grown as the main application. Facebook had been the most popular social media network to
date. Facebook allowed its users to interact with people whom they already know offline or have
made new friends online. Facebook users also joined virtual groups and other organizations, such
as universities (Wang, 2013). Facebook users were predominantly students, therefore, Facebook
was a valuable educational tool for learning.
According to (Aydin, 2012), Facebook increases learners self-efficacy, motivation,
self-esteem, positively changes perceptions and attitudes, reduces anxiety, and improves a
foreign and second language learning skills in reading and writing. There were many reasons
this topic was important. Student engagement had changed, including the way students learn
and the amount of media that they were exposed to had increased dramatically. Not only were
students exposed to more media than ever, but they were also able to process a higher amount of
information daily (Dretzin and Maggio, 2008).

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Social Media and Education

While there had been many studies done on the topics of student learning styles, student
engagement, and the relationships between student and educators, there were limited studies
linking social media to learning and education. Young adults were the biggest users of the social
networking world. Studies across the United States, Turkey and Canada, were finding that young
adults spend a large amount of their daily life interacting through social media sites (Ahn, 2011).
These groups (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) were integrated into the lives of most students,
which was allowing for educators a new opportunity to customize curriculums to facilitate new
learning expectations and target goals (Churcher, 2014).
Social media in some cases, had been limited to being seen only as an entertainment
technology. Many educators seem to have little to no value when it came to teaching using social
media (Mourlam, 2014). In this particular study, Mourlam (2014) conducted a project for 12
weeks. The educator posted seven events with different activities. The educator posted using
Facebook. In the educator reflection, the educator reported that time became an issue with
students completing assignments. When students were asked how would like to see social media
used, there was an overwhelming response in that they would like to see it become more
interesting and engaging through the content that was being presented. Some students expressed
that they did not want to take the time to learn new technology (Mourlam, 2014).
From the educators viewpoint, the educator said that using Facebook would make a
difference if postings were to the group everyday (Mourlam, 2014). This study also described
how the educator changed as a result of doing this project by becoming more confident in using

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social media within the courses. In the student questionnaire, 79% of students suggested that
Facebook was a useful classroom tool (Mourlam, 2014).
The use of social software, like Facebook, was argued by Poellhuber and Anderson
(2011), from Athabasca University in Canada, that it offered new educational affordances that
were exploited in formal learning. They also noted that while educators had been thinking about
formal groups in education to begin supporting collaborative learning, they found that access to
other students work and relationships with educators improved both a social presence and
increased students motivation (Poellhuber and Anderson, 2011).
Facebook and Student/Parent Engagement
Todays young adults were the first to have grown up completely surrounded by various
social media technologies (Ahn, 2011). Students did not stop using social media when they get to
school. They were growing up in a digital world. They find themselves in an era of fast-paced
technology growth, therefore, todays youth used these new technologies to engage in
relationships, interact with friends and family and to communicate with educators (Ahn, 2011).
Parents were impacted in a positive way with both student and educator updates. Parents were
able to see current projects along with current grades. Positive daily comments were added by all
to boost morale (Ahn, 2011).
Educators used social media, like Facebook, to connect to both students and parents.
When using social media with students it extended beyond the traditional classroom atmosphere.
It added comfort and more time to the life-long learning process. Virtual classroom learning
through social media had significantly related to more student motivation to learn and build
stronger and more positive relationships among both students and parents (Wang, 2013). Among

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the continued studies of Wang (2013), she noted the principles that were related to student/parent
engagement. For example:
1. Encouraged contact between student and faculty
2. Developed reciprocity and cooperation among students
3. Encouraged active learning
4. Gave prompt feedback
5. Communicated high expectations
6. Respected diverse talents and ways of learning
One study completed by (Mei and Ling, 2014) showed that the findings from the data in
fact did indicate that lectures given by educators were positive and continued to build good
relationships creating positive posts between students, parents and educators. The data also
showed that using Facebook allowed for students, educators and parents to be at ease of shared
information and knowledge with one another that extended beyond textbooks and classroom
walls (Mei and Ling, 2014). Their studies also concluded that the current barriers of
miscommunications between educators and families were one of the main reasons to adopt
Facebook into your curriculum and close that gap (Aydin, 2012).
Some themes that needed to be considered for successful engagement among students,
parents and educators were how relationships develop, the initial welcoming, expectations and
the consistency of fairness. Being comfortable within the learning atmosphere was critical to all
learning. The same goes for online learning social media sites, comfortability among a group was
critical in the learning process. The same expectations such as participation, time, and effort
were also found to be valuable. According to Smith, Connolly and Pryseski (2014) their data

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

collected indicated that the findings for successful engagement among students, parents and
educators started with the overall feel of safety and routine. The relationships among all set the
stage for teaching and becoming lifelong learners (Smith, Connolly and Pryseski, 2014).
Advantages of Social Media Technologies
A positive transition for students was by the integration and implementation of rules for
using social media in the classroom, and because a majority of students were already using social
media, like Facebook, teachers and parents were engaged in the changes in curriculum and
technologies used daily (Churcher, 2014). Another true advantage of parents was what they saw
in real time. They saw what their teachers were doing in their classrooms and therefore, became
more involved in their childs education. This eventually resulted in a more efficient way for
parents to stay connected and engaged and eliminated miscommunications on assignments.
Using social media cut down on phone calls and increased positive communication
between student, educator and parents (Daniels, 2014). The use of different types of content to
connect and communicate among students, educators and parents were the use of visual
representations such as animations, photographs, videos and links to further a discussion for
students to use at their own pace. Also carefully noted was that despite all the recommendations
it was very important that classroom time and face-to-face communications were not completely
being displaced with social media, such as Facebook (Mei and Ling, 2014). Although setting up
Facebook groups was time consuming and demanded organizing your time during a school year
or semester, the positive feedback and communication percentages were skyrocketing
(Montoneri, 2015).

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Ellison (2010) added that existing social relationships, like Facebook, lead to many
features besides creating new connections. Currently, data collections were being shared through
online gaming. He further suggested that Facebook supported a wide variety of possibilities. In
conclusion of Ellisons (2010) study, young adults who were using various identities, may
benefit from it more than heterogeneous networks.
Social networking sites were an advantage because they provided students with an
opportunity to express themselves. Students were learning collectively through social media,
when their ideas were being analyzed by other educators and students. Also, unlike a regular
classroom, students became restricted and sometimes withdrawn. With the use of social media
sites students were becoming and feeling free and not worrying about what others were thinking
(Orawiwatnakul and Wichadee, 2016).
Building a community of learners through the use of Facebook formed in making the
world a smaller place. Social Media technologies fostered communities. Technologies today
produced a level playing field. Technologies were used as a platform for creating a learning
organization (Andrus, 2005). Students were also affected by integration and implementation of
specific rules for utilizing social media, therefore, creating a positive environment. This included
parents to keep updates on their child(ren) (Chan and Leung, 2016).
Facebook as an Educational Environment
According to research, flowed communication between educators and students became
much easier through the use of Facebook. For example, Berg (2007) it interpreted how one
university used Facebook to build better relationships between their students and personnel. Just
as a classroom needs an educator, social media sites needed an effective instructor for effective

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learning to occur during the online discussions (Churcher, 2014). Teachers needed regulations
and guidelines in the area of social media to help them establish a good rapport with students and
build that student teacher relationship (Churcher, 2014).
Another study performed by (Mei and Ling, 2014) found that their data showed
Facebook as the most preferred social media networking application and had allowed them to
create a social identity online that helped them to become more social and interactive among
their peers and better prepared them for the real world. Among other literature reviews of
researchers they were suggesting that students use of Facebook was to build on their network of
friends and to maintain existing relationships (Selwyn, 2009). There was an emphasis that
parents and educators concurred a moral understanding of the potential uses, therefore, leading to
potential consequences of using new technologies, such as Facebook (Aydin, 2012).
The positive effects that Facebook brought into the educational environment also focused
on specific areas such as social learning, e-learning, environmental learning, business and art for
example. In the social learning aspect, it was a new space for new literacy practices that required
a deep collaboration among students and educators. Furthermore, a Turkish study using social
networking allowed for peer role modeling through interaction motivated pro-environmental
behaviors (Aydin, 2012). Facebook was used as a communication hub. Maintaining a page or
group was a great way to establish a presence as an educator without intermingling between your
personal and professional lives.
Facebook as a communication environment, had had powerfully affected language
learning and teaching. Some examples include online discussions to create an engaged
assignment. Aydin (2012) described that teachers and students experienced a useful and

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meaningful way of learning, that supported a language like English. Also, he found that while
students thought Facebook could be used to facilitate English learning, educators said that
Facebook needed to have a pre-determined curriculum with learning objectives and outcomes
that make these learning experiences meaningful (Aydin, 2012). Most studies agreed that
although they have had different opinions, most argued that the use of the internet does act as
one of several factors driving the engagement with a community through social media (Skoric,
2016).
In exploring uses of Facebook, Skoric (2016) understood that those who participated did
so because of their need for information. These needs motivated them to participate and
therefore, promoted a sense of commitment. All statistics suggested a positive relationship
between social media use and daily engagement and very little negatives were reported. The
table below broke down those statistics. The most robust finding in this study concerned the
relationship between informational uses of social media and participation. The findings were
found to be positive and significant across the chart (Skoric, 2016). The study also suggested that
these patterns on the use of social media were offering new opportunities for venues such as
political expression.
Table 1: Effect-level analysis; relationships between different types of social media use and
engagement (N=47) (Skoric, 2016).

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Using Facebook as a learning tool provided more opportunity for students to learn from
their own learning groups, according to Orawiwatnakul and Wichadee, (2016). It was agreed
upon in this study that students used Facebook as a learning tool in class. By doing so, using
Facebook in environments that emphasize close interactions between faculty and students were
related to improved critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, analytic competencies, and
intellectual development. Therefore, social media served as a venue for learners to hone their
ability to think critically through conducting small group discussion, which served as an
incentive and vehicle for learning. (Orawiwatnakul and Wichadee, 2016). The goal was to
provide an educational environment that provided students with the tools and desire for lifelong
learning, not only for information (Saifudin, 2016). Related research suggested that boundary
conditions affected the positive association between the number of friends and social capital
levels. There was a limited stable social relationship we can maintain (Ellison, 2010).
Conclusion
In looking into integrating social media, particularly Facebook, into school curriculum, it
had been shown to be a valuable asset that proved valuable to educators. Facebook helped

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educators to present courses, set up rules, and moderate posts and comments in a professional,
positive atmosphere. The most valuable of using social media, was that it gave educators the
opportunity to give quality lectures and address both student and parent needs. Educators took
more interest in the use of Facebook within educational contexts, as (Eberhardt, 2007) suggested
that educators developed approaches and strategies that helped students and parents use their
networking behaviors to enhance their learning and development. Educators also needed to
garner more positive attitudes towards the possibilities of using Facebook in their teachings.
Although Facebook was holding up its own in the education world, new social media platforms,
mobile applications and sites were developed everyday. (Daniels, 2014) concluded that The use
of social media in education was theoretically grounded in the work of sociocultural theory and
had been demonstrated to support cooperative learning, increased understanding of new content
and the transfer of knowledge in the context of real-life situations. Even though there were a
number of studies on the use of social media, like Facebook, there were few articles that have
been published on the immediate impact of students scores as well as student evaluations of their
educators. The findings in this literature review suggested that much more research on Facebook
as an educational environment was needed. It was very evident that there were not enough studies
to specifically address Facebooks role within the educational context.
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