Today, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) released its study, “Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social – and Educational – Networking.” This study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and underwritten by News Corporation, Microsoft and Verizon.
The study defined social networking as a cluster of technical functions that allow users to easily create, share and respond to information. Overall, this study provides some heft for many of the arguments made by ALA. Of note are the following:
- Many students report using social networking to discuss education-related topics (60%).
- Social networking is allowing students to engage in creative expression of all kinds.
- Negative experiences online are much lower than was expected.
- Parents are much more involved in kids’ use of technology than is commonly perceived.
- Classroom use of technology is increasing, but school technology leaders are skeptical of social networking applications.
- The majority of districts use some kind of social networking software to communicate with students, parents or the community.
The report, which can be found at this link (PDF), also includes more in-depth statistics and a list of recommendations for educators.