Are college professors using social media? Social Media in Higher Education, a study performed by Pearson, which includes a survey of 1000 college professors, showed that four out of five professors use social media. A little more than half use podcasts, video, wikis, and blogs for their classes. About 30% use social networks to communicate with their students, and almost 25% of the professors had four or more accounts on social networks.
However, just 10 to 12 percent of the professors ask students to use social media tools to create something or post comments. Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group, which performed the study with Pearson and New Marketing Labs, stated “At the moment it’s used primarily as another information resource.”
Among the professors surveyed, the most widely used social media service is Facebook. However, YouTube was the most commonly used social media service to communicate with students. Also, 25% of the professors disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that social networks are valuable for communicating with students.
An objective of the Association for Social Media and Higher Education is to create a community for sharing information, tools, learning, and ideas by bringing together social media practitioners, higher education officials, and scholars. The organization recommends utilizing social media to create communities of learning and multidisciplinary collaboration in colleges and universities.
A study entitled “Social Media and College Admissions: Higher-Ed Beats Business in Adoption of New Tools for Third Year,” performed by Dr. Nora Gamin Barnes, Ph.D., found that 95% of colleges and universities utilized at least one form of social media to recruit prospective students. The study also indicated that colleges and universities are ahead of major businesses regarding the use of social media. The study showed that 51% of colleges and universities admissions offices have a blog for their school while just 22% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog and 42% of the Inc. 500 companies have a corporate blog. The report also showed that 46% of colleges and universities use online videos to provide virtual tours of their campuses, virtual visits to dorms, and sample lectures from faculty members.
Social media has worked its way into higher education. However, in the classrooms it is primarily used as an information source and not in an active way (e.g. students tweeting in class). Perhaps things will change in the future as the younger generation, which has grown up with social media, return to college classrooms as professors.
This is a guest post from Brian Jenkins, who has been writing for BrainTrack.com since 2008. He contributes articles about a variety of college and career topics.