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Education Featured Article

August 30, 2011

New Study Shows Social Media Sites Can Help Students'' Education

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer


While most people look at social media sites as nothing more than a nuisance and a form of entertainment, it appears there can be other uses. New research shows that social media sites might actually be aiding students in their education. Parents all over the world have just given their collective foreheads a slap with the news that they may no longer be able to keep their kids off sites like Facebook.



We usually expect someone who is using Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert) as often as some children do to be killing time. An education professor at the University of Maryland says he has research showing those kids do better in school. This does not necessarily mean that the kids who are using the sites are learning some great knowledge from Facebook (News - Alert) itself.

“When kids feel connected and have a strong sense of belonging to the school community, they do better in school,” the professor, Christine Greenhow told an investigative report website known as California Watch. Greenhow’s research focused on 600 low-income high school students. When questioned about why she focused on low-income student she stated that research on that group was lacking, but essential.

It’s well known that children’s social networking use is only growing over the last few years. This had led to several teachers and school districts wondering if they should incorporate the sites into their lesson plans more. It has also lead to social networking sites investing more time and money into their online security measures.

There have also been plenty of reports about how teens who use Facebook, Twitter and the like are more apt to take up smoking and drinking. While Greenhow acknowledges that there are real drawbacks to kids using sites like this, she says there needs to be more emphasis made on the positives. Whether there are good or bad repercussions of children and teens using the site, the fact remains that they use them. There is little chance that their use will be going down anytime soon and it would be a positive for teachers and schools to try and use this still growing trend to their advantage.

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Edited by Rich Steeves


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