Teaching with Social Media

Abstract

The typical freshman college student is proficient in the use of Web 2.0 technologies. Many students have personal computers prior to entering college. The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and various other social networking sites is increasing exponentially. Facebook alone grows at a rate of 3% per week. This single site now boasts over fifty-nine million active users. Over half of the members use the site daily and spend an average of twenty minutes per day logged into their accounts. Facebook was launched as a networking site for students at Harvard University in February 2004. It soon grew to include other Ivy League schools and then expanded to college networks in general. In September of 2005, it expanded to include high school networks, again in May 2006 to include work networks, and finally in September of 2006 to allow for open registration.

Today‟s students are comfortable with technology. They maintain communication with friends through PDAs and mobile phones. They are one of the only age groups that regularly use many of the features of their multi-function digital devices.
Many students find “virtual world” communication fun and beneficial. Of the several virtual world web sites, Second Life is the most popular. Second Life has been used for job interviews and a few are exploring its use for classroom.

This paper reports the results of the use of several pedagogical techniques (Facebook, Course Wikis, and Second Life) in undergraduate and graduate public administration courses at the State of Georgia‟s Public Liberal Arts University.

Keywords

Social Media, Pedagogy, Teaching

Authors

Emily Norris
Student, Political Science
Department of Government and Sociology
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, Georgia

Daniel Rhodes Simpson
Student, Political Science & Public Administration
Department of Government and Sociology
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, Georgia

W. Clif Wilkinson, Jr.
Lecturer in Political Science and Public Administration
Department of Government and Sociology
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, Georgia

Amber Williams
Student, English and Criminal Justice
Department of Government and Sociology
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, Georgia

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