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Most Educators Don't Use Social Media in the Classroom. Is Lack of Training to Blame?

Most Educators Don't Use Social Media in the Classroom. Is Lack of Training to Blame?

A recently released study from University of Phoenix College of Education revealed that the number of educators using social media in the classroom is actually decreasing as many express a reluctance to embrace social media platforms.

According to eSchoolNews, the survey of 1,002 K-12 teachers "found that 87 percent of those surveyed said they have not embraced social media platforms. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they are reluctant to use social media in the classroom, compared to 55 percent of participating educators in a 2013 survey."

Experts speculate that a lack of training in integrating social media in the classroom could have a lot to do with the increased reluctance. While most educators said they received training on integrating technology, 62 percent they had no training on social media in particular, the article said.

A lack of training could be directly related to a hesitance felt by teachers to expose their classrooms to the fast-paced and completely transparent environment of the social media world.

"K-12 teachers raise many concerns, with 82 percent of those surveyed reporting that they worry about conflicts that can occur from using social media with their students and/or parents."

Kathy Cook, dean of educational technology for University of Phoenix College of Education and former K-12 educator, told eSchoolNews that she encourages teachers begin to familiarize themselves with the benefits of social media as it's "here to stay."

Cook says the first step in providing social media training to teachers is to emphasize the importance of "digital citizenship."

"In addition to being prepared to use social media as a learning tool, teachers also need to be able to teach students to be responsible with their online behavior," the article said. vCook has a variety of tips for educators who wish to delve into the world of social media but need some help getting started.

Such tips include starting with "closed" social media sites, or sites that allow the creation of private blogs and limited comments like Edmodo, TodaysMeet and other sites that "allow safe and secure social media experiences in a smaller school environment."

Read more about the survey and Cook's tips here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/25/2015

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