A new report issued Nov. 16 finds that social-networking tools can help community college students become more engaged in their academics. But while large numbers of students say they use such tools in their daily lives, many two-year colleges have yet to mine the potential of the technology, USA Today reports. "The uses of social-networking tools are clearly growing in frequency," says Kay McClenney, director of the Texas-based Center for Community College Student Engagement, which released the report. But "colleges are not taking advantage of that particular set of tools for making connections with students to the extent that they could." The report is based on a survey of more than 400,000 students from 663 institutions. The survey found higher levels of engagement among students who said they used social media multiple times a day for academic purposes, such as communicating with other students, instructors, or college staff about coursework, than students who said they don’t use such tools at all. It also revealed a potential downside for colleges that don’t harness the technology: Students who frequently used social-networking tools, but not for academic reasons, tended to put less effort into their schoolwork…

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