Administrators' Perceptions of Using Social Media as a Tool for Learning

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to investigate administrators' perceptions of using social media as a tool for learning. A review of literature revealed a disconnect between the technology students rely on outside of school versus what they use and have access to during school and leads to us to question if social media can be used as a tool for learning. The anytime, anywhere access to people, information, creation and collaboration is commonplace for these students. The challenge for principals is to lead programs that effectively educate today's youth in ways that engage them and cause significant learning.

A critical review of the previous research demonstrated that technology leadership focusing on social media use for learning has gained attention in the literature mostly at the college level; the K-12 administrator level has not been widely studied. A mixed method study of K-12 administrators from across the United States was conducted to include survey and interview research. Principals and assistant principals were identified and asked to complete a survey to determine their perceptions of using social media as a tool for learning. Six follow-up interviews were conducted to examine their perceptions more deeply. This study revealed that principals and assistant principals perceived social media as a viable tool for learning; however, they indicated a need for clear social media use policies/parameters and professional learning in how to effectively engage with social media for learning. This study yielded valuable information regarding administrators' perceptions of using social media as a tool for learning that can be used in future research, policy development and professional development.

Social Media, Social Technology, Technology Integration, Principals, Administrators, Informal Learning, Digital Literacy