Title: What do they really think? Higher education students' perceptions of using Facebook and Twitter in formal higher education learning

Authors: Jenny S. Wakefield; Scott J. Warren; Metta Alsobrook; Kim A. Knight

Addresses: Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, 3940 N. Elm, Suite G150, Denton, Texas 76207, USA ' Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, 3940 N. Elm, Suite G150, Denton, Texas 76207, USA ' Averett University, 420 West Main St., Danville, VA 24541, USA ' Department of Emerging Media, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, Texas 75080, USA

Abstract: Our mixed methods multiphase research reviewed the pros and cons of implementation of social media in formal higher education learning from students' perspective. Student-expressed concerns and preferences are shared. On the positive side we found that social media may facilitate a sense of social learning community and significantly more so (p < .001) if students are already familiar with and using the social media tool. Social media also helps shy students get voice in the classroom. Many students had concerns with privacy if Twitter or Facebook were to be used in the classroom. In particular Facebook was seen as a 'private' outlet; however, if either of these tools were to be used, Facebook was preferred. Through the students, we also found that our communicative actions - our language and the way we write - are changing as dictated by social media.

Keywords: Facebook; Twitter; technology adoption; social learning community; social media; learning environments; higher education; student perceptions; electronic learning; e-learning; online learning; shyness; privacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2013.057465

International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2013 Vol.1 No.4, pp.330 - 354

Available online: 05 Nov 2013

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