The Use of Social Networking Sites in Education: A Case Study of Facebook
Huseyin Bicen (Near East University, Turkey)
Huseyin Uzunboylu (Near East University, Turkey)
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to find out how Facebook and Web 2.0 tools create a positive effect when used in education and to investigate teachers' opinions about the Online learning environment. This experimental study was carried out in primary and secondary schools with teachers who use Facebook. The study took six weeks and 30 hours. The teachers attended lessons and accessed materials online and offline, in face-to-face learning environment. Moreover, they were able to co-operate and share information with their colleagues via Facebook. The study sample consisted of 35 teachers from primary and secondary school who constituted a blended learning group and 36 teachers from primary and high school who formed an online learning group that enrolled in the material development for Facebook course. These teachers were chosen randomly. The participation was anonymous and the study was carried out amongst volunteered teachers. Data was collected using a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire created by the authors and entitled "Teachers' Opinions about Facebook in Education". The questionnaire consisted of 39 positive statements about Facebook. It was completed by teachers at the beginning (pre-experience test) and the end of the study (post-experience test). Results show that, if used for educational purposes, Facebook could bring about a positive change in teachers' opinions. Results also indicate that Facebook virtual environment helps teachers to do many activities with online classes, which is not possible to do in schools. Teachers are convinced that this environment helps students not only to improve their team work, but also to improve their learning skills. Based on the findings, recommendations are made about using Facebook in education.
Keywords: Facebook, Web 2.0 tools, social networking, virtual learning environment
Categories: L.1.4, L.3.0, L.6.0, L.6.1