Social Networking Sites in Education

Greenhow, C. (2011). Youth, learning and social mediaJournal of Educational Computing Research, 45(2),139-146.


This article addresses five articles concerning social media and education. These five articles are presented in this same journal issue, with this particular article introducing each with a brief summary. The overall theme is to explore the impact that social networking sites (SNS) have on students’ learning and their perceptions of them. The articles present insight on a variety of views and topics ranging from the learner’s cognitive development to social skills and self-confidence.

The five articles presented here focus on who participates in social media, how participation helps to develop argumentative strategies, how video combined with reading enhances student comprehension, how students perceive social media, and low-income students perceive and experience social networking sites. These articles provide a view of students from high school and college level and their experience with social networking. This enables us to better understand what drives certain students to excel in these platforms more than others. The author discusses the vast variety of SNS and other social media as well, pointing out that there is a need for more research on the effects these have on youth and education.

The field of social media is expanding quickly, and more students are arriving in the educational environment with quite a bit of experience in this area. With this technology background, future research in this area will help instructors to determine the best use of SNS in their field and their classroom. Blended and online learning environments are become more widespread as well and will need research based guidance in developing the best methods for SNS inclusion.

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