Key Topics

Digital Communications

and Social Media

Political Uses of Social Media


Twitter and Facebook...................

Blogs and Blogging...........................



Digital Communications and Social Media

For background, see Social Media Overview from Tufts University.

Connected Educator, But Why?

Teens, Social Media and Technology, Overview 2015 from Pew Research Center (April 9, 2016)
  • 88% of 13 to 17 year-olds have access to a mobile phone
    • 73% have a smartphone
      • 92% go online daily
        • 24% go online almost constantly

external image Nagano-cg01.jpg
external image Reports.gifAccording to a 2008 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing. This disconnect matters because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them.”

Students' online writing outside of school thus provides a platform for teachers to use to promote student writing in school.

Webzines are online magazines. Click here for the Educause 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Magazines.

NielsenWire. (2010, October 14). U. S. teen mobile report: Calling yesterday, texting today, using apps tomorrow. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from

Political Uses of Social Media

external image Reports.gif
Candidates Differ in their Use of Social Media to Connect with the Public, Pew Research Center (July 28, 2016)
  • People are getting more of their political information from the Internet than ever before
    • 87% of the American public is on the Internet
      • 70% on Facebook
Computer.pngIlluminating 2016: Candidate Total Message Activity: Clinton/Trump Attack, Advocacy from U.S. News & World Report

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.33.19 AM.pngTom Brokaw Examines Social Media as a Force in 2016 Election, NBS Nightly News (July 19, 2016)

Politics on Social Networking Sites , a September 2012 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that about 36 percent of social networking users see social networking as an important part of their political activity.

Clay Shirky: How Social Media Can Make History, TED Talk


Crisis Hotlines Turning to Text to Reach Teens (March 30, 2013)

Text Message Dictionary

When Smartphones Go to Class, Science News for Students (March 3, 2016)

Teens, Smartphones and Texting from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (March 2012).
  • 63% of teens, 12-17, send text messages every day. 60 texts a day is average while older girls send 100 and boys about 50. The heaviest texters are also most frequent phone talkers.

    Americans and Text Messaging from Pew Internet & American Life Project (September, 2011).


external image 200px-Twitter_logo.svg.png
Teens, Social Media and Privacy from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (May 21, 2013)

  • One in four online teens using Twitter; eight in ten use some form of social media.
  • African American teens more likely to use Twitter than White teens.
  • Girls more likely than boys to use social networking sites and Twitter.

10 Little-Known Twitter Tools for Connected Educators from Edudemic (June 17, 2013).

Twitter Support for Educators and Parents from Edutopia

Diane Ravitch has the highest score for online influence, according to that presents a Klout score. For more, see Petrilli, M. (2011, Fall). All a-Twitter about education. EducationNext, 11(4). Retrieved July 27, 2011 from

President Barack Obama responding to tweets on July 6, 2011
President Barack Obama responding to tweets on July 6, 2011

50 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow Educational Gaming

3 People & 3 Ideas for Using Twitter to Share, Discover and Connect with Students

5 "Can't Miss" Twitter Chats from technology educator Tom Murray

A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Backchannels and Informal Assessment Tools from Free Technology for Teachers, January 29, 2013.


6 New Facts about Facebook from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (February 4, 2014).

Predicting Student Exam Scores by Analyzing Social Network Data(2012). This study by Michael Fine, et. al., from Ben Gurion University shows that online friends can build offline relationships that promote academic success in school.

Steinbrecher, T. & Hart, J. (2012). Examining teachers personal and professional use of Facebook: Recommendations for teacher education programming. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 20(1), 71-88.

Blogs and Blogging

State of the Blogging World (2012)
  • 31 million bloggers in the United States.

  • 400,000 comments are made on blogs every day


external image Exempel_WIKI.jpg

Robert W. Maloy. (2016). “Building Web Research Strategies for Teachers and Students.” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Social Studies Teacher Education, 16(2), 172-183.

"A Learning Journey for All": American Elementary Teachers Use of Classroom Wikis, Lena Lee, Journal of Online Learning, Winter 2012.

Wiki Editing Recognizes Women in Science discusses efforts by researchers at Brown University to improve the Wikipedia pages devoted to women scientists on Ada Lovelace Day, October, 15, 2013. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) wrote the first computational algorithm.

For more on Wikipedia, see Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia's Contributor List, from The New York Times (January 30, 2011). Only 13 percent of the contributors to Wikipedia are women.

Computer.pngFor examples of a teacher and student-constructed wikis, see the following:

resourcesforhistoryteachers organized by Robert Maloy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Teaching Resources for English, organized by Sinead Meaney, middle school teacher

Teaching Geography, organized by Allison Malinowski, middle school teacher


Skype in the Classroom