Human Attitude Towards the Use of IT in Education: Academy and Social Media

Human Attitude Towards the Use of IT in Education: Academy and Social Media

Silvia Gaftandzhieva (University of Plovdiv Paisii Hilendarski, Bulgaria) and Rositsa Doneva (University of Plovdiv Paisii Hilendarski, Bulgaria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1279-1.ch026


This chapter aims to explore the human attitude towards the use of IT in education, especially teacher attitudes towards the use of social media in teaching practice. The study is based on a survey questionnaire, which aims to investigate to what extent and for what purposes teachers from different countries from all over the world use social networking in their teaching practice. The chapter presents the method (an exploratory survey using questionnaire for data collection), organization of the study, and thorough analyses of the results in accordance with the study objectives. Finally, summarized results of the survey are presented, depending on the continent where the countries of the participants are located. The analysis of the survey results is presented on the basis of valid responses of 19,987 teachers from 75 countries around the world who participated in the survey.
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Students in the 21st century (referred to as the digital generation, digital natives) are growing up constantly connected to the world around them through smartphones, tablets, and computers. Marc Prensky (Prensky, 2001) defines the term “digital native” and applies it to a new group of students enrolling in educational establishments referring to the young generation as “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, videos, video games, social media and other sites on the internet. IT are changing the process of teaching and learning during last decade. IT experts have developed a lot of applications which can be used by teachers and students in the learning process.

Millennial learning styles require teachers acquire skills to adapt to digital learning. Nowadays, teachers from all over the world use IT to do and provide students with learning resources, video and audio materials that students can access at any time using their computers, notebooks, smartphones, etc. In order to meet the unique learning needs of digital natives, teachers need to move away from traditional teaching methods that are disconnected from the way students learn today (Morgan, 2014). Students from the digital age thrive on creative and engaging activities, varied sources of information, and a more energetic environment. Teachers are faced with the challenge to understand how they communicate and interact with the world in order to meet the needs of today’s students and to teach more effectively.

Nowadays social networking is becoming a more and more powerful tool for communication, sharing of information and discussions on various topics. According to a worldwide survey, approximately 2 billion web surfers are using social networks today (Statista, 2018). The characteristics of social platforms, such as shared content and user-generated content, make them a powerful tool that helps to deliver a quality, personalized and student-centered education. Social networking sites have a significant presence in the contemporary higher education instsitutions and more and more teachers are showing an interest in taking advantage of the possibilities they offer for learning (Hortigüela-Alcalá, Sánchez-Santamaría, Pérez-Pueyo & Abella-García, 2019).

The wide academic and research interest in the use of social networking for educational purposes in higher education is the natural result of the constantly growing popularity of social networking.

According to Pearson (Seaman & Tinti-Kane, 2013), a learning company that promotes the effective use of technology, “A majority of faculty now use social media in a professional context (any aspect of their profession outside of teaching). Use of social media for teaching purposes has lagged even more, but like the other patterns of use, it has increased every year. The number of faculty who use social media in the classroom still does not represent a majority, but teaching use continues its steady year-to-year growth. Faculties are sophisticated consumers of social media. In general, they see considerable potential in the application of social media and technology to their teaching, but not without a number of serious barriers”.

Likely the most significant and life changing technologies of the 21st century is the adoption of social media as major components of educational activities (Anderson, 2019). In recent years there has been extensive academic and research interest in the use of social networking for educational purposes (Acharya, Patel & Jethava, 2013; Voorn & Kommers, 2013; Wang, Woo, Quek, Yang & Liu, 2011; Kropf, 2013; Arquero, & Romero-Frías, 2013; Alam, 2018; Carapina, Bjelobrk & Duk, 2013; Ghanem, El-Gafy & Abdelrazig, 2014; Rothkrantz, 2015; Doneva & Gaftandzhieva, 2016; Zancanaro & Domingues, 2018; Awidi, Paynter, & Vujosevic, 2019; Saini & Abraham, 2019; Dommett, 2019; Aleksandrova & Parusheva, 2019; Anderson, 2019; Vivakaran, 2018; Zachos, Paraskevopoulou-Kollia, & Anagnostopoulos, 2018) and the presentation of higher education institutions and courses on social networks (Golubić & Lasić-Lazić, 2012; Golubić, 2017; Zancanaro & Domingues, 2018; Kumar & Nanda, 2019). Some educational institutions use social media educational system to support learning and interaction on campus, foster and encourage active learners' participation in the school system (Azeta et al. 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Professional Learning Community: A group of educators, motivated by a shared learning vision, who collaborate to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students.

User-Generated Content: Any form of content, such as images, blogs, videos, text and audio, that have been created and posted by consumers or end-users on online platforms and is publicly available to others.

Social media: A website or a software application designed to allow people to communicate and share content quickly, efficiently and in real time on the Internet using a computer or mobile phone or similar.

Social Networking: The process of creating, building and expanding virtual communities and links between people online, often through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Shareable Content: A content with a potential to be transmitted, or shared, by a third party.

Social Platform: Web-based technology and solutions behind a social media.

Digital Native: An individual who was born after the broad adoption of digital technology and grew up with them.

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