The Use of Social Media in the Higher Education Institutions in Turkey: A Case of the Higher Education Institutions in Istanbul

The Use of Social Media in the Higher Education Institutions in Turkey: A Case of the Higher Education Institutions in Istanbul

Ali Acılar (Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8586-4.ch006
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Abstract

Social media has been widely adopted world-wide, especially by young generations, and has become an integral part of today's society. As a popular Web 2.0 application, social media has significantly affected our daily life; from communication to education, from entertainment to business life. With a large percentage of young adults using social media in daily life, social media has become present in nearly all aspects of the higher education, ranging from admission to education in the classroom. Despite the many benefits and advantages, while many universities actively use social media, some lag behind in adopting this technology, especially in developing countries. The main aim of this chapter is to investigate the presence of social media in Web sites of the higher education institutions in Istanbul and analyze how they use it.
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Introduction

Together the Internet and the Web have profoundly affected our life for the past decades. Today, we can use the Web for searching information, communication, education, business and entertainment. The World Wide Web has evolved greatly through the years since it was invented. Before Web 2.0, the World Wide Web was mainly consisted of static content. In the time of Web 1.0, Web sites are very limited and there was no interaction between users and Web sites in the early years of the Internet. The earliest Web sites provided little opportunity for two-way communication, perhaps at best providing a mailing address, e-mail, or phone number for any further contact (Andzulis, Panagopoulos, & Rapp, 2012). In addition to static content, today’s Web sites enable people to collaborate, share information, and create new services and content online (Laudon & Laudon, 2012, p. 272). Web 2.0 is generally considered as the current stage of the Internet's development (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011). The term Web 2.0 refers to a collection of second generation Web-based technologies and services, many of which are designed to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users (Kennedy et al., 2007). There is a common acceptance in the literature that the concept of “Web 2.0” was born with a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International (O'Reilly, 2005). According to Laudon and Laudon, (2012, p. 272) Web 2.0 has four characteristic features, such as: interactivity, real-time user control, social participation (sharing), and user-generated content. The main technologies and services behind Web 2.0 features include cloud computing, software mashups and widgets, blogs, RSS, wikis, podcasting, social networking services, social bookmarking services and file sharing (Laudon & Laudon, 2012, p. 273; Kennedy et al., 2007).

Web 2.0 can be considered as the platform for the evolution of social media (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). According to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) “Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.” According to Holotescu and Grosseck (2012) social media is about transforming monologue into dialogue, free access to all types of information, transforming Internet users from mere readers to creators of online content, and interacting in the online world so as to form new personal or business relationships. Social media comprises a wide range of a new generation of Internet applications and encompasses tools that allow individual and collective publishing; sharing of multimedia such as images, audio and video; and the creation and maintenance of online social networks (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011; Bennett et al., 2012). The broad term, social media, has been used to apply to a variety of technologies, including wikis, blogs, microblogs, social networking sites, virtual worlds, and video-sharing sites (Kane, Alavi, Labianca, & Borgatti, 2014). These online social technologies can also be accessed on mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices. Mobile devices and the use of social media presented new opportunities for interaction, provided opportunities for collaboration, allowed students to engage in content creation and communication using social media and Web 2.0 tools with the assistance of constant connectivity (Gikas & Grant, 2013). Today, online social media applications have been integrated into the daily practices of many users around the world, supported by different websites, tools, and networks (Oberer & Erkollar, 2012). As accessibility to the Internet and social media from mobile devices has become more available, the popularity of social media has increased and people started to share more content on social network sites.

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