Media Use in the Classroom – perspectives

From September through November 2013, STEMJOBS staff connected with students and schools at the High School and College level to discuss their view of the implementation of technology in the classroom along with their understanding of and implementation of STEM.

Over the next several months, we will be releasing our findings from these surveys as part of a guide for our partners and readers to better understand how STEM is and can be implemented.  We want to thank the many teachers and students who participated in surveys, forums and working groups and invite others to participate with us in the future.

One of the topics we discussed was the use of social media in the classroom. The results, when taken in whole, show a pattern of what we’ll call, “tentative adoption,” that is leaning toward greater implementation of social media technologies as  tools within the curriculum or educational aids.

Our Methodology:

Our team utilized a mix of survey and feedback types including group discussion, in-class computer-based surveys and anonymous online surveys.  Questions were embedded within discussions and questionnaires that were not focused directly on classroom use of social media.  Instead, answers were solicited within feedback about our magazine and website design to improve authenticity of response.  Onsite surveys and forums were held at a variety of institutions from economic and demographic regions within the Western Pennsylvania area.  Online respondents did not identify themselves by demographic or economic status, but came from 20 different states.

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”STUDENTS”] 

Students:

Participants: 246

Men: 67%

Women: 33%

HS Freshmen or Sophomore

18%

HS Junior

41%

HS Senior

35%

College Freshmen or Sophomore

1%

College Junior or Senior

2%

College Graduate

1%

High School Graduate

1%

Vocational School Student / Graduate

0%

Guidance Counselor

0%

Teacher / Faculty

0%

[/su_tab]

 

[su_tab title=”High School Officials”]

Participants: 130

Men: 50%

Women: 50%

Vocational School Faculty

10%

High School Guidance Counselor

20%

STEM Teacher – High School

30%

STEM Teacher – Middle School

0%

STEM College – Faculty

0%

Curriculum Director

0%

Career Guidance Counselor

40%

Principal / Administrator

0%

High School Administration

0%

Post Secondary Administration

0%

[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”College Officials”]

College:

Participants: 50

Men:  20%

Women:  80%

Vocational School Faculty

0%

Admissions Officers

20%

STEM Subject Faculty

20%

Curriculum Director

0%

Career Guidance Officer

20%

Administrator

20%

Student Recruitment

20%

[/su_tab][/su_tabs]

[su_spoiler title=”Have you used YOUTUBE in the classroom?” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”YouTube”]

HS Students

 

High School Teachers / Counselors

 

College Faculty / Officials


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[su_spoiler title=”Have you used Google Docs in the classroom?” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”YouTube”]

HS Students

 

High School Teachers / Counselors

 

College Faculty / Officials


[/su_spoiler][su_spoiler title=”Have you used FACEBOOK in the classroom?” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”YouTube”]

HS Students

 

High School Teachers / Counselors

 

College Faculty / Officials

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Have you used INSTAGRAM in the classroom?” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”YouTube”]

HS Students

 

High School Teachers / Counselors

 

College Faculty / Officials

[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Have you used VINE in the classroom?” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle” anchor=”YouTube”]

HS Students

 

High School Teachers / Counselors

 

College Faculty / Officials

[/su_spoiler]

We also asked students to “Rate the following social media sites” to provide some perspective around their interest in these technologies.  We thought their answers were enlightening.



[su_tabs][su_tab title=”FACEBOOK”]FACEBOOK


[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”TWITTER”]TWITTER

 

[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”INSTAGRAM”]

INSTAGRAM


[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”LINKEDIN”]

LINKEDIN


[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”SNAPCHAT”]SNAPCHAT



[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”VINE”]VINE



[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”PINTEREST”]PINTEREST

[/su_tab][/su_tabs]

OBSERVATIONS

While these findings do not explicitly link to STEM subjects, they do reveal some interesting patterns.  First, adoption of social media in the classroom lags student interest and adoption. And second, the social media resources being utilized in the classroom are more generally viewed by students to be resources more suited to an older audience.  Twitter and Instagram are clear interests of students in our surveys.  Faculty and teachers, however, have been slow to adopt or even understand the viability of these tools in the classroom, even though there is evidence of the adoption of facebook.

We also found it interesting that Vine was being utilized at the college level, and while not provided here, youtube has been widely adopted for use in the classroom.  According to our discussions with students, however, adoption of Youtube and Twitter in particular are teacher by teacher as opposed to a more generalized adoption within the total educational environment.

In fact, one of the key findings in our discussions is that adoption of social media tools is lead by teachers themselves, as opposed to a strategic effort and focus of the school or education system.  The limitations of this approach is apparent in the mixed messages this sends to students, who gravitate toward teachers who help them connect learning to their growing digital world, but have difficulty articulating the power of social technologies as a learning tool.


Stay tuned for more from our interactions and be sure to connect with us if you are interested in participating in future survey activities.