Eighty-six percent of teachers in a recent survey say they have not incorporated social media into their classrooms, and of those who have not, 62 percent said they have no plans to do so.
A University of Phoenix College of Education survey of more than 1,000 K-12 teachers explores how teachers feel about using social media as an educational resource and the reasoning for why teachers are still reluctant to integrate social media into the classroom.
Just 14 percent of teachers say they use social platforms in the classroom. The reluctance to integrate is due to a number of reasons, teachers said, including possible use issues and student knowledge exceeding teacher knowledge.
Four-in five (81 percent) teachers say they are worried about conflicts that can occur from using social media with students/parents. Nearly 20 percent of teachers say they are intimidated by students’ knowledge/use of technology devices for social networking.
Next page: Would teachers encourage their students to connect with them on social media?
Fewer than 1 in 5 teachers (18 percent) said they would encourage their students to connect with them on social networking platforms.
Interacting with students and parents through social channels presents challenges for teachers:
• Nearly one-third (31 percent) of teachers say they have experienced issues with students and/or parents connecting with them on social media
• More than three-quarters (76 percent) of teachers say parents sometimes use social media to monitor teachers’ work and/or personal lives.
Despite difficulties using social media in the classroom, teachers said there are advantages to using the online platform as a learning tool.
Nearly half (45 percent) of surveyed teachers said they agree participation in social media with their students can enhance the student’s educational experience.
Social networking also is valuable for personal and professional use, they said. More than one-third (35 percent) of teachers communicate with colleagues, students and parents on social media platforms and a majority of teachers (83 percent) use social media for personal use.
The survey also gauges general technology use in K-12 classrooms. Two in five surveyed teachers said funding is a main reason for not using technology more, while 25 percent said they are not familiar or proficient with existing technology tools. Twenty percent said they do not think they have time to learn about the tools.
Eleven percent of participating teachers said their school’s technology policy prevents them from using more technology in the classroom, and 11 percent also said their school’s technology policy keeps them from using technology the way they want to in the classroom.
Fifty-one percent of surveyed teachers said they would like to learn more about integrating technology into the classroom. Forty-five percent said they would like to learn more about addressing student behavior issues, 39 percent would choose to learn more about curriculum and instruction, and 29 percent would like to learn more about STEM.
Sixty-two percent of teachers said fewer than 25 percent of parents are involved in the classroom, though teachers say they stress the importance of communication in ensuring students are on track with their achievement.
Sixty-eight percent of surveyed teachers said they would prefer parents not wait until there is an issue to connect, 65 percent said they would like parents to ask about areas where their child can improve, and 65 percent said they would like parents to communicate regularly. Fifty-nine percent said school supply donations are welcome, and 38 percent said they would like parents to volunteer in the classroom.