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Education and Social Media: Research Directions to Guide a Growing Field

by Christine Greenhow, Vincent Cho, Vanessa P. Dennen & Barry J. Fishman - 2019

Social media play an increasing role in our everyday lives and in education. Teachers and administrators may use social media for professional learning, to find materials for use in the classroom, and as a vehicle for engaging students with each other or with the world at large. As this body of scholarship continues to grow, now is the time to reflect on where the field might go from here to conduct the most impactful scholarship on education and social media. Accordingly, this chapter proposes research directions and approaches that promise to advance this expanding field, grounded in insights from the long history of studying technology in education, including over a decade of research on social media. We summarize insights from reviews of the existing research literature on learning and teaching with social media in education. Next, we apply a typology of the kind of studies needed to advance the field of education and educational technology as a useful lens for assessing prior work, identifying gaps in the knowledge base, and envisioning potential research directions. The chapter argues that new scholarly work is needed into three main areas: (1) research focus, or the subjects or topics of research that are needed; (2) methodological work, or new or underutilized approaches to studying education and social media; and (3) conceptual work, or theorization or framing of studies in education and beyond. We provide specifics in each of these areas in the final section.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 121 Number 14, 2019, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23039, Date Accessed: 2/25/2020 1:56:09 AM

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About the Author
  • Christine Greenhow
    Michigan State University
    E-mail Author
    CHRISTINE GREENHOW is an associate professor in educational psychology and educational technology, Michigan State University. She studies various forms of learning with social media, the design of social-mediated environments for learning, and changes in scholarship practices with new media. Recent publications and projects can be found at http://www.cgreenhow.org.
  • Vincent Cho
    Boston College
    E-mail Author
    VINCENT CHO is an associate professor in educational leadership at Boston College. He is a former teacher and administrator, and his research addresses issues relating to school leadership in the digital age. Recent projects have examined administratorsí uses of social media, 1:1 computing initiatives, and educatorsí uses of academic and behavioral information systems.
  • Vanessa Dennen
    Florida State University
    E-mail Author
    VANESSA P. DENNEN is a professor of instructional systems and learning technologies in the College of Education at Florida State University. Her research focuses on emerging technologies for formal and informal learning, and the development of identity and community in online environments. Recent publications can be found at http://vanessadennen.com.
  • Barry Fishman
    University of Michigan
    E-mail Author
    BARRY FISHMAN is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Technologies in the School of Information and the School of Education at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on educational innovation, games as models for learning environments, and teacher professional learning. Recent papers can be found at http://www.umich.edu/~fishman.
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