Social Networking Technologies and Education

Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web highlights new research at the intersection of students and social networks:

A new study released today by the National School Boards Association shows that 96 percent of students with online access use social networking technologies – defined as as chatting, text messaging, blogging, and visiting online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, and Webkinz. 81 percent say they have visited a social networking Web site within the past three months and 71 percent say they use social networking tools at least weekly. The report also claims that one of the most common topics of conversation on the social networking scene is education. Nearly 60 percent of online students report discussing education-related topics such as college or college planning, learning outside of school, and careers. And 50 percent of online students say they talk specifically about schoolwork. 

The study also shows that students are engaging in creative activities on social networking internet sites; including writing, art, and contributing to collaborative online projects "whether or not these activities are related to schoolwork". Almost half of students (49 percent) say that they have uploaded pictures they have made or photos they have taken, and more than one in five students (22 percent) report that they have uploaded video they have created. Those figures are "at some point". The weekly figures are shown in the graph below and suggest that it’s probably 1/4 or less of students who do creative activities online at least once a week.

Nsba_study_aug07

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