The Popularity of Social Media Services among Students

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The popularity of social media services (SMS), particularly Facebook and Twitter, demonstrate how fast technology is changing. Students' facility with SMS and the amount of time they spend using them should not escape the notice of educators, who can use these tools effectively in their classrooms. Many educators are already doing so. SMS are still relatively new when it comes to classroom use and the existing literature offers anecdotal evidence of both positive and negative applications of these tools. As SMS becomes increasingly popular, educators, administrators, parents and the general public will want to know whether using social network tools in the classroom have an impact on students' achievement. It will be very difficult to measure because they are other factors that will have to be considered, such as how much time is devoted to SMS use in the classroom, what activities will be forfeited to make time to use SMS, and details about the specific purposes and outcomes of SMS use. For example, if test scores decline, will that be attributable to SMS? It may only be attributable if SMS use replaces fifteen minutes of daily drill and practice that is typically used for test prep. If test scores improve, that may be attributable to a connection with another classroom and teacher, made through SMS, that helps provide a deeper understanding of the material. However, test scores vary from group to group and from year to year; educators are always looking for explanations,

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