22 May 10
According to a new study from the Babson Survey Research Group, more than 80 percent of professors have at least one account with either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, LinkedIn, MySpace, Flickr, Slideshare, or Google Wave. Nearly 60 percent kept accounts with more than one, and a quarter used at least four. A majority, 52 percent, said they used at least one of them as a teaching tool.
The survey was a collaboration between Babson Survey Research Group, New Marketing Labs, and Pearson. The survey polled 939 professors from 2 and 4-year colleges and universities around the country. Most said they teach in undergraduate programs, and more than a third reported teaching online or blended courses.
The study found that social media use is highest for humanities and social sciences teachers, and that long-tenured professors don’t shy away from social media any more than their younger colleagues.
Nearly Every Professor Uses Social Media, No Matter Their Age
Of course, not all Web 2.0 tools are created equal. Among respondents to the Babson survey, YouTube was the preferred tool for teaching, with more than a fifth of professors using material from the video-sharing community in class.
Facebook and LinkedIn, meanwhile, were the most popular tools for communicating with colleagues. About ten percent of all respondents instructed students to create content within a social media community — such as contributing to a blog or posting a video — as part of an assignment.
There was one point upon which nearly all the respondents, both advocates and skeptics, agreed: “This is a supplement to how I teach,” says Seaman, paraphrasing. “It will never become a primary delivery mechanism.”
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