How Social Media Is Being Used In Education

Recently,  the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson conducted a survey of nearly 8,000 faculty members in higher education to find out more about how faculty are using social media. While we often post infographics showing trends or results from specific studies here at Edudemic, I found the results of this survey particularly interesting – perhaps because they were so different from what I expected.

While it seems that most faculty have adopted some social media use in their personal life, fewer have done so professionally. And their feelings about using social media professionally (in and out of the classroom) seem to be pretty mixed. Keep reading to learn more (and you can access a larger pdf of the infographic by clicking here).

Social Media in Higher Education

While there is no question that students in higher education are pretty well versed in many technologies and social media platforms. But what do their professors think?

  • The level of personal use of social media among faculty (70.3 percent) mirrors that of the general population
  • 55 percent of faculty use social media in a professional context (any aspect of their profession outside of teaching), up from 44.7 percent last year
  • Only 41 percent of faculty use social media in the classroom, but this use continues to experience steady year-to-year growth
  • Faculty are sophisticated consumers of social media. They match different sites to their varying personal, professional, and teaching needs
  • Concerns remain about privacy, maintaining the class as a private space for free and open discussion, and the integrity of student submissions
  • Most faculty agree that “the interactive nature of online and mobile technologies create better learning environments” and that digital communication has increased communication with students
  • Faculty believe that online and mobile technologies can be distracting, and that they have resulted in longer working hours and more stress

social media in education


  1. Noemi

    October 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Edmodo, in my opinion, is a protected social media site. What about its use amongst the educational community for collaboration & sharing?

    • dlwhitemich

      October 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

      My home page yields a stream of q’s and a’s to one another by field of instruction, app discoveries that are compatible with Edmodo and subject, and how to’s for making Edmodo more useful. I would love to set up PD groups on my page, but Edmodo should hire me for this; yes? Hint, hint(;0) Occaisionally, teachers try just chatting or (gasp)complaining and moaning about the job or students; but then I click away. Let’s keep it encouraging and relevant, Teachers, this is a great tool!

  2. Margo Isabel

    November 3, 2013 at 7:34 am

    During my PhD studies (up to 2012), social media interaction as a student or within the classroom context did not exist. I have often wondering if it has changed, from what I understand from a few students it has not. I wonder to what degree it ever will? Academic writing is meant to be very objective and concise. The opposite of blogging. Also, although students crave feedback on their research questions and observations, there is the thought they should not be shared with the world until publishing. Blogging to me seems very similar to writing “Memos” that get your thoughts and arguments on paper. It will be interesting to see how the role of social media changes in higher ed (I am in primary ed). I think it will be the professors and leadership that set the tone.