Recognizing New Media: Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Social Networking Sites in Higher Education

By Regina B. Danner and Clara Omatseye Pessu.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In today’s society of rapidly increasing information and technological advances, children and youth are surrounded by a burgeoning array of technologies that are used for communicating information and ideas. Students’ access to affordable social technologies such as blogs, podcasts, wikis and social networks, will for some time to come continue to have an impact on education. The use of social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, MySpace and a host of others, have proved to be extremely popular among students. Pegrum (2009, p. 27) states that “the reality is that students are already using SNSs and the educators have the choice to work with or against them.” The obvious choice is to work with them; hence, this study seeks to explore undergraduate students’ perceptions of the use of SNSs in higher education. One hundred fifty-two undergraduate students of the University of Benin completed a survey questionnaire from which their use and perception of SNSs were examined. Descriptive statistics and t-test for Independent sample were computed and data were also analyzed in light of gender, age, and academic level factors. Findings from the study emphasize the need to reconceptualise staff training and curricular design in order to harness students’ skills in SNSs in higher education.

Keywords: Social Networking Sites, Perceived Difficulty, Usage, Learning Activities, Usefulness in Higher Education

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.119-131. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 427.512KB).

Dr. Regina B. Danner

Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology and Curriculum Studies, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Regina Danner is a lecturer in language education (English) in the Department of Psychology and Curriculum Studies, University of Benin in Benin City, Nigeria. Her areas of research interest include pedagogy in grammatical structures, reading instruction and use of technology in language instruction.

Dr. Clara Omatseye Pessu

Principal, Government College, Ministry of Education Asaba, Ughelli, Delta, Nigeria

Clara Omatseye Pessu is a specialist in educational planning. She is a consultant with the Ministry of Education Asaba on in-service training of language teachers on the use of new technologies in language instruction.