♦ Current State of Usage of Social Media for Education: Case of Turkey

Gülbahar, Y. (2014). Current State of Usage of Social Media for Education: Case of Turkey. Journal of Social Media Studies, 1(1), 53–69.

Abstract Despite of popularity of social media and its use for educational purposes in recent years, research studies are in their preliminary stage and researchers are trying to explore this new phenomenon from different perspectives. Thus, the main purpose of this research study was to reveal the patterns and implications of social media usage by higher education institutions in both face-to-face and online teaching environments, namely for blended learning and e-learning. For this purpose, interviews were conducted with instructors and students from two universities, selected as cases, in order to answer various questions. Although there were only two universities selected as cases, the results indicates the current state of social media usage in higher education in Turkey, since these two universities are the leading ones for technological implementations all over the country, together with the presentation of current literature on the issue. One of the main findings was perception of social media as an informal environment that is used for communication and knowledge sharing, as an information source. Another finding was that both instructors and students were unaware of the potential tools and resources that they can benefit from in their educational and research activities. Moreover, the participants were also aware of the need for a change in both perceptions and skills acquisition of individuals in order to cope with these technological innovations. Hence, it was suggested that more and widespread training opportunities together with an institutional strategy are needed for effective implementation. As a result, this research study revealed that social media for higher education is used and implemented only by individual attempts through a limited know-how in terms of potentials that social media can bring to an educational context.

Keywords Social media in education, interactive learning environments, improving classroom teaching

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