Facebook pages for college classes? Students say yes, please

Even without official course pages, students organize groups via Facebook.

When offered a smorgasbord of social media choices, college students have continually chosen Facebook as the best social site for class collaboration. And the reason is simple: Students are most familiar with Facebook.

Colleges and universities have experimented with a host of social networks, but one of the foremost researchers of how students use social sites said Facebook – one of the first networks to gain traction among technology-savvy educators – remains the favorite for organizing group meetings and discussing upcoming assignments and exams.

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For colleges, social media no longer optional

LinkedIn has seen the largest increase in usage among colleges.

There won’t be big gains in the number of campuses using social media next year, according to two researchers who say every college and university they studied has already hopped aboard the social networking bandwagon.

Only six in 10 colleges had an official social media presence during the 2007-08 academic year, according to the report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research.

In 2009, 85 percent of university admissions offices were using social media like Twitter and Facebook. That number rose to 100 percent during the 2010-11 school year.…Read More

College students can’t go long without checking their smartphones, laptops

Almost every student surveyed said they owned a digital device.

The Facebook tidbits, the Twitter updates, the eMails and instant messages and Craigslist postings – they’re all so tempting. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) student Sarah Barnes says she can ignore them for hours at a time, while many students say they can’t, even for 10 minutes.

Prying herself away from her smartphone and laptop during professors’ lectures isn’t easy, said Barnes, 20, a child development major at SNHU. When she’s not in class though, she’s on her Blackberry or laptop or iPod Touch, sending about 900 text messages every month, playing games, and checking eMail and class websites.

Nearly four in 10 college students said they could not go 10 minutes without checking one of their mobile devices, “about the same amount of time it takes to walk to class,” according to a study released last week by CourseSmart, a leading eTextbook company based in California.…Read More

Social media in higher ed: Friend or foe?

One social media researcher was critical of the OnlineEducation.net stats.

Facebook and studying can be an academically toxic combination, lowering grades by up to 20 percent. This is just part of an infographic that has gone viral on the web and grabbed the attention of educators and their students this spring.

The inforgraphic, “Is Social Media Ruining Students?” published in April by OnlineEducation.net, distills reams of social media research and lists the pros and cons of how social sites, especially Twitter and Facebook, are used on campuses.

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How many hours do students spend texting every day?

Students say they receive more than 100 texts a day.

Sending and receiving rapid-fire text messages may be college students’ favorite pastime, as new research from a small Pennsylvania university says the typical student spends three hours every day on their cell phone keyboard.

Texting rarely gets a student’s undivided attention – multitasking is common among respondents – but text messaging trumps online chatting and Facebook, eMail, and search engine usage, according to the survey conducted by Reynol Junco, an associate professor at Lock Haven University and a social media researcher.

Junco, who released the survey results March 7, said on his blog that it was uncertain how accurate the student texting estimate was, because a four-text exchange might take place over an hour, but reading and responding may have taken just a few minutes.…Read More