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Volume 18 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-03-0377


University Students and Social Media: Reflections from an Empirical Research

Paolo Ferri (University of Milan, Italy)

Andrea Pozzali (University of Milan, Italy)

Abstract: The current debate on the potential for change that the development of social media can bring to education seems to be based more on general and theoretical considerations than on systematic data. In order to contribute to the development of a more informed perspective, in this paper we present empirical evidence gathered from a 2008 and 2009 survey on undergraduate students at the University of Milan-Bicocca, concerning students' attitudes toward traditional and new media. In particular, we focus here on data concerning the diffusion of some specific tools and services that are commonly meant to represent the most important features of the "collaborative web". The comparison of the results obtained in the two surveys allows us to make some reflections on the path of diffusion of social media among young university students and to critically review their actual significance in an educational perspective.

Keywords: Web 2.0, digital natives, personal learning environments, social networks

Categories: A.0, A.1, L.3.5, L.3.6