K-12 Teachers in America Remain Reluctant to Integrate Social Media in the Classroom, Finds University of Phoenix Teacher Survey

Only 14 percent use social media in the classroom and majority are
concerned about conflicts

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The majority of Americans engage in social media in some way1,
but the one place they may not be experiencing it is in K-12 schools.
Nearly nine in ten (86 percent) K-12 teachers have not integrated social
media into their classrooms and the majority (62 percent) indicate they
do not plan to do so, according to a recent University
of Phoenix® College of Education
survey of teachers nationwide
conducted online by Harris Poll.

Despite increasing use and popularity of social platforms outside of the
classroom2, these numbers have stayed virtually the same
since 2015,
and, in fact, teacher use in the classroom has decreased since late 2013,
when close to one-in-five (18 percent) indicated they integrated social
media into the classroom.

“While there is understandably some hesitancy to incorporate social
media into the classroom, there is a wealth of opportunity for teachers
to use social media to enhance the student learning experience,” said
Kathy Cook, dean of educational technology for University of Phoenix
College of Education and former K-12 educator. “The first steps to using
social media as an educational tool is acknowledging its impact on the
lives of today’s students and teaching them about the importance of
digital citizenship. If K-12 students experience social media in a
productive environment like the classroom, it can help set the tone for
their future usage.”

Forty-five percent of teachers agree that participation in social media
with their teachers can enhance a student’s educational experience,
according to the survey3. This increases substantially among
those who have actually integrated social media in their classrooms,
with 80 percent of these teachers saying social media can enhance a
student’s educational experience4.

Social Media Setbacks

The survey also reveals four in five (81 percent) K-12 teachers remain
worried about the conflicts that can occur from using social media with
their students and/or parents (82 percent agreed in 2015). Only one in
five (19 percent) teachers5 indicate they are intimidated by
students’ knowledge/use of technology devices.

“There can be a disconnect for students when the technology they use to
learn and communicate in their daily lives is absent from the
classroom,” said Cook. “Learning how to effectively leverage social
media in a classroom setting can help enhance the experience for
students and teachers alike. While many assume the popular consumer
social media tools are the only options for educators, there are
actually many social tools that are designed for the K-12 environment
and that have custom security options.”

Despite low classroom usage, the survey indicates more than four in five
(83 percent) teachers use social media personally and more than
one-third (35 percent) use it professionally to communicate with
colleagues, students and parents. Nearly one-third (31 percent) have
experienced issues with students and/or parents connecting with them on
social media. More than three-quarters of K-12 teachers (76 percent) say
parents sometimes use social media to monitor teachers’ work and/or
personal lives.

To help address some of the ethical dilemmas teachers face in the
classroom environment, including social media, University of Phoenix has
integrated ethical decision making into coursework and offers specific
Continuing Education for Teachers courses to help teachers navigate the
increasingly social landscape.

Tips to Help Teachers ‘Like’ Social Media for Classroom Use

Cook says integrating social media in the classroom can be challenging
for teachers, but also very rewarding. Cook offers the following tips
for engaging students in the classroom using social media platforms.

  1. Start small. Start a closed classroom Facebook group and
    encourage students to post and interact with each other. This is an
    excellent way for students to incorporate a popular social channel
    into a learning opportunity. From there, build out lesson plans that
    involve social media platforms. Other options include starting a
    topical Twitter feed or requiring students to blog about educational
    topics.
  2. Create boundaries. Develop guidelines for how you plan to
    interact with students and parents and communicate it clearly. Set
    these policies early on and stick to the plan. Having students help
    develop guidelines can also help them set boundaries in their own
    personal social media usage.
  3. Be channel agnostic. With so many tools at your disposal, it’s
    important to focus on what you want to accomplish and then determine
    the channel. Also, don’t be afraid to engage students in the process
    of figuring out what is right for the classroom. It can be a great
    critical thinking exercise and a way to empower students to make
    choices in their learning experiences.
  4. Continue learning. In today’s changing digital world, it is
    important for teachers to be equipped with the knowledge and skills
    needed to perform effectively in the classroom. Continuing Education
    for Teachers courses are an option for teachers wanting to educate
    themselves on the newest technology or how to use social media.
    University of Phoenix offers a ‘Cyberethics for Educators’
    course in which students study digital and ethical-decision making
    both inside and outside the classroom.
  5. Be Social. Engage with other teachers in social media to learn
    what they are doing and find great ideas for projects. The more
    engaged teachers are personally in social media, the easier it can be
    to understand the implications and limitations for their classrooms.

For general information about University of Phoenix programs, including
on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who
completed the program and other important information, please visit www.phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.
Transferability of credit is at the discretion of the receiving
institution. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm whether or
not credits earned at University of Phoenix will be accepted by another
institution of the student’s choice.

1 http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/media-and-technology/social-networking-use/

2 http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/media-and-technology/social-networking-use/

3 Survey of 1,005 U.S. full-time employed K-12 teachers who
have at least an undergraduate degree conducted online within the United
States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between April
14 and 25, 2016.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 14 and 25, 2016.
Respondents included 1,005 U.S. residents employed full-time as teachers
in grades K-12 who have at least an undergraduate degree. For complete
survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Amanda
Barchilon at Amanda.Barchilon@apollo.edu.

About University of Phoenix® College of Education

University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers
and school administrators for more than 30 years. The College of
Education provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for
individuals who want to become teachers or current educators and
administrators seeking advanced degrees to strengthen their professional
knowledge. With education programs available throughout most of the
U.S., the College of Education has a distinct grasp of the national
education picture and priorities for teacher preparation. Faculty
members on average bring more than 17 years of professional experience
to the classroom. For more information, visit phoenix.edu/education.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults
move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world.
Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive
learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal
aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo
Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL),
University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering
associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from
campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online
throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

Contacts

University of Phoenix
Amanda Barchilon, 602-557-8641
Amanda.Barchilon@apollo.edu