Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

Perusing Facebook, sending rapid-fire text messages, and tweeting back and forth with friends and celebrities alike might not be the best academic strategy, it turns out.

A new study released by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine shows a link between social media use and poor academic performance. The study wasn’t limited to usage of traditional social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, but instead included popular social technology like texting.

Freshman women spend upwards of 12 hours a day using some form of social media, researchers found. Social networking and watching movies and TV were most negatively associated with academic performance among the study participants.…Read More

New partnership between Miami Dade College & Facebook focuses on real-world skills

Realizing the importance in-demand real-world skills, Miami Dade College (MDC) has entered into a partnership with Facebook to hone the digital marketing expertise of students and outside entrepreneurs. Students will earn a certificate when they complete 18 credits in the program. Small business owners and local entrepreneurs can acquire expertise in apps such as Instagram, learn how to build or expand their business, and engage more directly with their customers using different social media tools.

The partnership grew out of Facebook Community Boost, a two-year-old Facebook initiative that provides digital skills and training for job seekers, advises entrepreneurs on how to get started, and helps existing local businesses and nonprofits get the most out of the internet. MDC is the first and only higher-ed partner in Florida.

“We learned about Facebook Community Boost and their aim to empower over a million small business owners throughout the country,” says Sissi Rodriguez, assistant to the college president, special projects, for MDC. “We were interested because we were already working on a certificate program for digital marketing that was approved by the state last year.”…Read More

Professor’s Facebook comments about Muslims brings campus outcry, lawsuit

A national free-speech organization critcized PUC's response to faculty complaints.

A Purdue University Calumet (PUC) professor who was reprimanded for a series of Facebook comments critical of Muslims, drawing harsh criticism from students and faculty members, has filed a free-speech lawsuit against the university.

Maurice Eisenstein, an associate professor of political science at PUC, posted a picture of Facebook last November of “Christians killed by a radical Muslim group.” Eisenstein criticized “moderate Muslims” for failing to condemn the alleged attack.

He added that Muslims are “still looking at the earth as flat according to the idiot Mohammad [sic], may his name be cursed.” Eisenstein was accused of engaging in a heated exchange with a PUC student on Facebook.…Read More

Social media site an ‘academic supplement’ to Facebook

The new CampusLive will let students migrate their Facebook information.
The new CampusLIVE will let students migrate their Facebook information.

Instead of a Facebook news feed cluttered with tidbits about friends’ FarmVille progress, Boris Revsin wants a social media site that alerts college students to the latest in academic news from their peers—information that could connect students and form study groups.

Since 2007, has been a one-stop shop for college students looking for local eats, perusing campus headlines, and connecting to their school’s library.

And Revsin, a former University of Massachusetts Amherst student and CEO of CampusLIVE, said the site’s next iteration will allow users to pull their Facebook profiles into a more academically-focused site dedicated to campus goings on.…Read More

Students aren’t ‘nonchalant’ about Facebook privacy, report says

Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.
Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.

A close look at college students’ reaction to Facebook privacy policies revealed concern about online identities as news outlets pushed the issue to the forefront with increasing coverage in 2009 and 2010, according to a report released this month.

Eszter Hargittai, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s communication studies department, and Danah Boyd, a researcher for Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, found that most Facebook members altered their privacy settings in the past year while privacy advocates railed against gaps in the social media site’s identification security.

Hargittai and Boyd based their report on a survey of University of Illinois Chicago students conducted during the 2008-09 academic year and the 2009-10 school year. The researchers had a response rate of 45 percent among more than 1,000 students surveyed. The researchers’ report is published in the journal First Monday.…Read More

Schools reach out to prospective students via Facebook

Colleges and unversities use social media such as Facebook to recruit students.
Colleges and universities increasingly are using social media, including Facebook, to recruit students.

Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly proactive in using social media to reach prospective students, acknowledging that today’s teenagers are very active online.

A Maguire Associates survey of U.S. public and private institutions offering four-year undergraduate degrees found that senior enrollment officers are incorporating the internet into undergraduate recruitment and communication. The survey found that 77 percent of senior enrollment officers have begun to use social networking sites in the face of the economic downturn and continued digital innovation.

Brian Shulman, dean of the School of Health and Medical Sciences at Seton Hall University, said combining social media and public relations efforts has improved the school’s image exponentially in one year.…Read More

Software helps schools monitor athletes’ postings

Athletes' tweets have rubbed some college coaches the wrong way.
Athletes' tweets have rubbed some college coaches the wrong way.

Last fall, before he got fired, Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach banned his Red Raiders from using Twitter after a player tweeted that his coach had been late to a team meeting.

Twitter and Facebook were “stupid” distractions, Leach said, and only narcissists want to “type stuff about themselves all the time.”

Yet, that’s what tens of thousands of college athletes are doing—sending a flood of mostly inane and meaningless chatter that sometimes includes something of interest either to their school or the NCAA. Finding those comments can be overwhelming—but schools now have an app that can do it.…Read More

How colleges can drive traffic to their web sites

Colleges should closely track their web site's "bounce rate," Joly said.
Colleges should closely track their web site's "bounce rate," Joly said.

Digital marketing guru Karine Joly told a group of college technology officials June 8 that it’s time for them to stop relying on gut instincts when devising ways to increase web traffic and start relying on data that can attract prospective students online.

Joly spoke during a morning session at the annual EduComm conference in Las Vegas, where 800 campus IT officials and staffers attended workshops and keynotes addressing the latest in education technology. The conference ended June 9.

Joly, founder of Higher Ed Experts, an online service offering professional development, released a survey in May showing that three out of four university IT officials said they spent fewer than two hours a week on web analytics, or studying their school’s web site traffic, including who is visiting the site and which search words guide them to the site.…Read More

Military taps social networking skills

Young Air Force analysts are showing how the Facebook generation’s skills are being exploited—and paying dividends—in America’s wars, reports the New York Times. As a teenager, Jamie Christopher would tap instant messages to make plans with friends, and later she became a Facebook regular. Now a freckle-faced 25, a first lieutenant and an intelligence officer, she is using her social networking skills to hunt insurgents and save American lives in Afghanistan. Hunched over monitors streaming live video from a drone, Lieutenant Christopher and a team of analysts recently popped in and out of several military chat rooms, reaching out more than 7,000 miles to warn Marines about roadside bombs and to track Taliban gunfire. The Marines say the analysts, who are mostly in their early to mid-20s, paved the way for them to roll into Marja in southern Afghanistan earlier this year with minimal casualties. And as the analysts quickly pass on the latest data from drones and other spy planes, they are creating the fluid connections needed to hunt small groups of fighters and other fleeting targets, military officials say…

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Image-conscious youth rein in social networking

Three in 10 young adults surveyed say they "never" trust social media sites.
Three in 10 young adults surveyed say they "never" trust social media sites.

It might go against conventional wisdom, but a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project is adding fuel to the argument that young people are fast becoming the gurus of online reputation management, especially when it comes to social networking sites.

Among other things, the study found that young adults ages 18-29 are the most likely to limit the amount of personal information they share online—and the least likely to trust free online services ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn and MySpace.

Marlene McManus, 21, is among those young adults. On the job hunt since graduating from Clark University in Massachusetts, she’s been “scouring” her Facebook page, removing photos that contain beer cups and any other signs of college exploits. She’s also dropped Twitter altogether.…Read More