Perceptions of Teachers and Students towards Educational Application of SNS and its Educational Effects in Middle School Class
SNS use by youth is a growing trend. However, there is a lack of studies on how the application of SNS can contribute to learning and public education for youth. As SNS was not originally developed for educational purposes, there is a possibility that it can be used for meaningful educational activity or that its application can lead to the opposite result. This study aims to investigate educational applications and effects of SNS in class through in-depth interviews with middle school teachers and students. Two teachers and 20 students using SNS in the classroom participated in this research. Data was collected through in-depth and written interviews. Course materials were also collected and all data were analyzed. The results of this study are as follows. SNS can be used for not only subject education but also for various kinds of learning activities. Positive effects were found such as expanding the face-to-face communication opportunities of teachers and students, increasing the frequencies of interactions, and widening the spectrum of educational opportunities and variety when properly applied. SNS was also applied for effective class management and student guidance work. However, as negative effects of SNS application including studentsí exposure to unhealthy information and cyber-bullying were reported, further efforts are needed to identify appropriate methods of using SNS for educational purpose.