Teaching African American Students Ingrid Sturgis 5/8/2012
Leveraging Social Media to Enhance African-American Students’ Learning
. neomillennial learning styles
Trends in education • 1 million children (2 percent of the K-12 student population) are participating in some form of online learning • 27 states offer statewide virtual schools that allow students to take a class online • 24 states and D.C. offer students an opportunity to attend a virtual school full-time.
Trends in education • As students become more connected to each other through various online mediums, they're also becoming more untethered, with laptops and smart phones keeping them physically apart. • “Web 2.0 paradigm" of "immersive environments" and dynamic information could to upend traditional pedagogies and even the way students learn. • That could mean that some professors might have to play catch-up
Student trends • New methods of interacting with information will become more ubiquitous • Students growing up with different expectations and preferences for acquiring knowledge and skills • Less emphasis on "sage on the stage” linear acquisition process focusing on a "single best source” • More focus on "active learning" that comes from synthesizing information from multiple types of media
Social media trends • 83% of Americans have mobiles • 42% have smart phones • ,500,000 Android devices activated daily • Foursquare passed 10 million users • Twitter 200 million, 1 billion tweets/day • Facebook 800 million active users • Google+ passed 43 million users • Google search 1 billion users
Where we are now In last 10 years: • Internet population more closely resemble the racial composition of the U.S. population. • Proportion of Internet users who are black or Latino has nearly doubled—from 11% to 21%.
African Americans have made up substantial ground when it comes to home broadband adoption. At the same time, African-Americans remain somewhat less likely than whites to go online.
Laptop ownership by African-Americans rose fairly dramatically over the last year -- from 34% in 2009 to 51% now
Blacks continue to trail whites in broadband use at home. Also quite a bit less likely than whites to own a desktop computer
Where we are now: Mobile • Blacks and English-speaking Latinos more likely to own a mobile phone than whites.
Mobile gap Prof. Craig Watkins: • “There is always this impression that black and Latino youth, particularly those who live in deprivation and attend less-high performing schools, have a lag in their use of technology and their engagement with it.” • “But, in some ways, they are even more assertive in their desire to be part of the tech world. Young African Americans are the early adopters of the mobile web.”
Mobile • Minority adults use wider range of their cell phones’ capabilities. • More likely to use mobile devices to: • Text message (70% African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos use text messaging, vs. just over half of whites) • Use social networking sites • Use the Internet • Record and watch videos
Mobile, cont. • Blacks and Latinos are significantly more likely to use their mobile devices to: • Make a donation via text message • Use email • Play games • Listen to music • Use instant messaging • Post multimedia content online
Mobile roots in hip hop • The way young African Americans create personal spaces with mobile technology is similar to how hip-hop evolved. • Rely on a “do it yourself” ethic and free sharing of media via peer-to-peer communication. • “A lot of what young African-American people know about new media, they’ve taught each other.”
Mobile access • Mobile is also a more reliable access point —especially at home, where connections can be spotty (particularly in poorer households) • “Mobile has enabled them to assert a greater degree of control over their engagement and participation in the digital media world.”
Texting • The volume of texting among teens has risen from 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the median teen text user. • Older teens, boys, and blacks are leading the increase. • Texting is the dominant daily mode of communication between teens and all those with whom they communicate.
Texting • Heaviest texters are also the heaviest talkers. • The heaviest texters (those who exchange more than 100 texts a day) are much more likely than lighter texters to say that they talk on their cell phone daily.
Social media use • Minority adults outpace whites in use of social technologies. • Seven in 10 blacks and English-speaking Latinos use social networking sites— • Six in ten whites do so • Nearly half of black Internet users go to a social networking site on a typical day. Just one third of white internet users do so.
Social media use Minorities are also relatively likely to use digital technologies to keep up with what’s happening in their neighborhoods. • This is especially true for folks who don’t know their neighbors by name. • Blogs, social networking sites and neighborhood listservs can serve as tools for keeping up with local issues.
Social media use • Minorities were very active using social technologies to share info during the 2008 election. • Minorities more likely to say government outreach using social media “helps people be more informed about what government is doing” and “makes government more accessible.”
. What social media do African- American students prefer?
Twitter • 25% of African Americans • 19% of Hispanics • 13% of adults in the U.S. use Twitter, up from 8% in 2010
Who tweets • 34% of African-American teens • 11% of white teens • 13% of Latino teens • Lower income teens (under 30K hhdinc) more likely than higher income teens. • Girls more than boys
Twitter • One quarter of African-Americans use Twitter, significantly higher than the 15% of whites who do • English-speaking Latinos are right in the middle, with 20% using these Twitter
Twitter • Users are more interested in connecting with public figures. • One in ten Twitter users (11%) say that reading comments by politicians, celebrities or athletes is a major reason they use online social networks.
. Professors’ Use of Technology in Teaching
. Why use Technology in Teaching
Disruptive technology • Not going away: The Internet is here to stay. Now in Social Media revolution • Professional development • Creativity will be rewarded – jobs, careers, reputation • Will alter higher education as we know it • The power To engage • “Meet them where they live!” • Businesses want to hire workers who understand the Internet
How can faculty use social media to enhance teaching and learning • The closer the connection to course content, the more valuable the use of social media • Be mindful of the student privacy • Model appropriate academic uses of social media: YouTube shown for scientific experiments, scientific blogs, etc. • Stress connections between print media and electronic media: blogs that became books, video or interactive essays by academics, etc. • Plan for discomfort when classroom authority is disrupted • Create clear criteria for grading and evaluating work that uses digital media
Has use of social media proved effective for African American students? Introduction to uses of technology Can offer more engagement in learning Offer support in online courses More research needed in this area