Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Educational Benefits Of Social Networking Sites Uncovered

Date:
June 21, 2008
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have discovered the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The same study found that low-income students are in many ways just as technologically proficient as their counterparts.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The same study found that low-income students are in many ways just as technologically proficient as their counterparts, going against what results from previous studies have suggested.

Related Articles


The study found that, of the students observed, 94 percent used the Internet, 82 percent go online at home and 77 percent had a profile on a social networking site. When asked what they learn from using social networking sites, the students listed technology skills as the top lesson, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views and communication skills.

Data were collected over six months this year from students, ages 16 to 18, in thirteen urban high schools in the Midwest. Beyond the surveyed students, a follow-up, randomly selected subset were asked questions about their Internet activity as they navigated MySpace, an online forum that provides users with e-mail, web communities and audio and video capabilities.

"What we found was that students using social networking sites are actually practicing the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop to be successful today," said Christine Greenhow, a learning technologies researcher in the university's College of Education and Human Development and principal investigator of the study. "Students are developing a positive attitude towards using technology systems, editing and customizing content and thinking about online design and layout. They're also sharing creative original work like poetry and film and practicing safe and responsible use of information and technology. The Web sites offer tremendous educational potential."

Greenhow said that the study's results, while proving that social networking sites offer more than just social fulfillment or professional networking, also have implications for educators, who now have a vast opportunity to support what students are learning on the Web sites.

"Now that we know what skills students are learning and what experiences they're being exposed to, we can help foster and extend those skills," said Greenhow. "As educators, we always want to know where our students are coming from and what they're interested in so we can build on that in our teaching. By understanding how students may be positively using these networking technologies in their daily lives and where the as yet unrecognized educational opportunities are, we can help make schools even more relevant, connected and meaningful to kids."

Interestingly, researchers found that very few students in the study were actually aware of the academic and professional networking opportunities that the Web sites provide. Making this opportunity more known to students, Greenhow said, is just one way that educators can work with students and their experiences on social networking sites.

The study also goes against previous research from Pew in 2005 that suggests a "digital divide" where low-income students are technologically impoverished. That study found that Internet usage of teenagers from families earning $30,000 or below was limited to 73 percent, which is 21 percentage points below what the U of M research shows.

The students participating in the U of M study were from families whose incomes were at or below the county median income (at or below $25,000) and were taking part in an after school program, Admission Possible, aimed at improving college access for low-income youth.

Greenhow suggests that educators can help students realize even more benefits from their social network site use by working to deepen students' still emerging ideas about what it means to be a good digital citizen and leader online.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Educational Benefits Of Social Networking Sites Uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620133907.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2008, June 21). Educational Benefits Of Social Networking Sites Uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620133907.htm
University of Minnesota. "Educational Benefits Of Social Networking Sites Uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620133907.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins