A Comparative Study of Teachers' and Students' Use of Social Media for Interaction with Other People

A Comparative Study of Teachers' and Students' Use of Social Media for Interaction with Other People

Jeļena Zaščerinska (Centre for Education and Innovation Research, Latvia) and Andreas Ahrens (Hochschule Wismar University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9455-2.ch010
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Abstract

Economic crisis strongly influences teaching. To promote effectiveness and competitiveness of teaching in higher education, teachers' and students' use of social media for interaction with other people has to be analysed. The research question is as following: are there any similarities and differences between teachers' and students' use of social media for interaction with other people? The purpose of the research is to compare teachers' and students' use of social media for interaction with other people. The meaning of the key concepts of “social media” and “web technologies” is studied. Exploratory research is used. The empirical study was based on teachers' and students' case studies. Descriptive statistics was implemented for primary data analysis. The findings allow drawing the conclusions on the teachers' and students' use of social media for interaction with other people. A hypothesis is proposed. Directions of further research are formulated.
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Introduction

The contemporary situation in the world can be described by a number of crises such as social, economic, financial, political, etc. as depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

The relationship between the contemporary situation in the world and crises

By crisis, a problem situation is meant. The terms problem situation (Sokol, 2008), problem and solving a contradiction (Сорокин, 1977) are considered synonymously (Bassus & Zaščerinska, 2012). Thereby, a problem situation implies solving a contradiction (Žogla, 2001; Čehlova, 2002; Ņikiforovs, 2003). Therein, contradiction is defined as two incompatible requirements that are set to one element/subject/thing/etc (Sokol, 2008). Contradiction creates contradictory needs: the necessity in change and stability (Grabovska, 2006) as demonstrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Elements of contradiction

It should be noted that solving a contradiction often demands on application of non-traditional and innovative solutions. Problem situations emerge in different dimensions of life of the modern world such as society, finance, politics, and economy. Thus, a crisis in society is identified as social crisis, in finance – financial crisis, in politics – political crisis, and in economy – economic crisis. As all the dimensions of life of the modern world are inter-related, problem situations, or, in other words, crises, are inter-dependent, too.

Among others, economic crisis is a cornerstone for the situation development in the world. By economic crisis, transformation from economy’s growth to economy’s slow-down and recession is understood. Economic crisis is revealed by

  • The fall of GDP (gross domestic product), investment spending, capacity utilization, household income, business profits and inflation, as well as

  • The increase in bankruptcies and the unemployment rate.

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