As students turn to online education, teachers find value in social media

While about 80 percent of professors are using social media in their courses, millions of students are using technology by enrolling in online education classes.
While about 80 percent of professors are using social media in their courses, millions of students are using technology by enrolling in online education classes.

A recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson found that about 80 percent of higher education professors use social media for some aspect of their courses. Of these educators, about 40 percent said they require students to read social networking posts as part of an assignment, while about 20 percent said their pupils are told to post material on social media sites.

Krista Jackman, a professor at the University of New Hampshire, said she uses social media in order to teach her students how to be educated and ethical citizens in a modern world.

"Social media in the university classroom can foster a blending of scholarship with the incredible power of social networking to ultimately help students maneuver responsibly through an ever more technology-centered world," she said.

While more faculty members are encouraging the use of technology in colleges and universities across the country, students are also showing their interest in modern electronics by enrolling in online education classes. According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, about 5.6 million learners were taking at least one web-based course during the fall 2009 semester.

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