Preservice Teachers’ Social Networking Use, Concerns, and Educational Possibilities: Trends from 2008-2012

Jan. 10, 2015

Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 23(2), p. 185-212, April 2015.

This study investigated preservice teachers’ use of social network services (SNS) in teacher preparation and their disposition toward using it in their future teaching.
The participants were 206 preservice teachers who learned at one U.S. university.
Data were collected through descriptive survey methodology.

The results revealed nearly all preservice teachers used a general SNS (e.g., Facebook), but about 40% never read blogs, wrote blogs, or read wikis; about 90% never wrote wiki, and about 80% never read/wrote Twitter.
SNS users consumed (e.g., read) more content than shared or generated (e.g., posted, wrote). Use of SNS for professional activities rose from 7 to 22%.

Trends indicated general SNS (e.g., Facebook) and Twitter use was mostly personal, while reading blogs, wikis, and writing blogs was equally personal and educational, and writing wiki was mostly educational.
The majority of these preservice teachers put ‘a lot’ of restrictions on their SNS accounts.
The likelihood that preservice teachers felt they would use social networking in their future teaching became less likely.

Discussion examines (a) how teacher education programs prepare new teachers as learners and designers of new technologies and
(b) describes a sequence of SNS experiences that develop preservice teachers as learners, designers, and ultimately connected educators.

Updated: Jul. 23, 2015