social media and critical thinking

Does social media make room for critical thinking?

social media critical thinking

social media critical thinking

Sinprakob, S., & Songkram, N. (2015). A Proposed Model of Problem-based Learning on Social Media in Cooperation with Searching Technique to Enhance Critical Thinking of Undergraduate Students. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 174(International Conference on New Horizons in Education, INTE 2014, 25-27 June 2014, Paris, France), 2027-2030. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.871

Bailey, A. (2014). Teaching Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Using Technology and Social Media To Foster Critical Thinking and Reflection. Virginia English Journal, 64(1), 17.

Eales-Reynolds, L., Gillham, D., Grech, C., Clarke, C., & Cornell, J. (2012). A study of the development of critical thinking skills using an innovative web 2.0 tool. Nurse Education Today, 32(7), 752-756. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.017

Baldino, S. (2014). The Classroom Blog: Enhancing Critical Thinking, Substantive Discussion, and Appropriate Online Interaction. Voices From The Middle, 22(2), 29.

Ravenscroft, A., Warburton, S., Hatzipanagos, S., & Conole, G. (2012). Designing and evaluating social media for learning: shaping social networking into social learning?. Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(3), 177-182. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00484.x

finding ways to capture meaningful informal learning experiences by explicitly linking these to formal structures, and providing frameworks within which informal learning can then be validated and accredited (Cedefop Report 2007).

Education is clearly a social process but it is probably much closer to an ongoing discussion or debate than an extended celebration with an ever-expanding network of friends (p. 179, Ravenscroft et al.)

the community of inquiry (COI) model developed by Garrison and Anderson (2003) and social network analysis (SNA). European Commission-funded integrated

project called MATURE (Continuous Social Learning in Knowledge Networks), which is investigating how technology-mediated informal learning leads to improved knowledge practices in the digital workplace
Fitzgibbons, M. (2014). Teaching political science students to find and evaluate information in the social media flow. In I. Management Association, STEM education: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Retrieved from
Cheung, C. (2010). Web 2.0: Challenges and Opportunities for Media Education and Beyond. E-Learning And Digital Media, 7(4), 328-337.
Key to using social media is the ability to stand back and evaluate the credibility of a source of information, apart from the actual content. While developing this critical attitude toward traditional media is important, the attitude is even more crucial in the context of using social media because information didn’t go through the vetting process of formal publication. Can the student corroborate the information from multiple sources? How recent is this information? Are the author’s credentials appropriate? In other words, the ability to step back, to become aware of the metatext or metacontext is more important than ever.
Coad, D. T. (2013). Developing Critical Literacy and Critical Thinking through Facebook. Kairos: A Journal Of Rhetoric, Technology, And Pedagogy, 18(1).
Many instructors believe that writing on social networking sites undermines the rhetorical skills students learn in class because of the slang and abbreviations often used on these sites; such instructors may believe that social networks are the end of students’ critical awareness when they communicate. Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber (2009) contended that electronic writing forms actually require “sophisticated skills of understanding concrete rhetorical situations, analyzing audiences (and their goals and inclinations), and constructing concise, information-laden texts, as a part of a dynamic, unfolding, social process” (p. 18). It is this dynamic process that makes social networking a perfect match for the composition classroom and for teaching rhetorical skills: It helps students see how communication works in real, live rhetorical situations. Many students do not believe that communication in these media requires any kind of valuable literacy skills because they buy into the myth of how the news media portray social networks as valueless forms of communication that are decaying young people’s minds. This is why I introduced students to the passage from Invisible Man: to get them thinking about what kinds of skills they learn on Facebook. I found the text useful for helping them acknowledge the skills they are building in these writing spaces.
Stuart A. Selber (2004) in Multiliteracies for a Digital Age criticized so-called computer literacy classes for having “focused primarily on data representations, numbering systems, operating systems, file formats, and hardware and software components” rather than on the task of teaching students to be “informed questioners of technology” (p. 74). In a time when, as Sheelah M. Sweeny (2010) noted, “the ability to stay connected with others is constant,” it is increasingly important to engage composition students in critical thinking about the spaces they write in (p. 121). It is becoming clearer, as technology giants such as Google® and Apple® introduce new technologies, that critical literacy and critical thinking about technology are necessary for our students’ futures.
Valentini, C. (2015). Is using social media “good” for the public relations profession? A critical reflection. Public Relations Review, 41(2), 170-177. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.11.009
p. 172 there is no doubt that digital technologies and social media have contributed to a major alteration in people’s interpersonal communications and relational practices. Inter- personal communications have substantially altered, at least in Western and developed countries, as a result of the culture of increased connectivity that has emerged from social media’s engineering sociality ( van Dijck, 2013 ), which allows anyone to be online and to connect to others. Physical presence is no longer a precondition for interpersonal communication.
(Jiping) The Pew Research Center ( Smith & Duggan, 2013 , October 21) indicates that one in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or mobile dating app to seek a partner, and that in the last eight years the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled. Another study conducted by the same organization ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11) shows that 25% of married or partnered adults who text, have texted their partner while they were both home together, that 21% of cell-phone owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. Another 9% of adults have resolved online or by text message an argument with their partner that they were having difficulty resolving person to person ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11). These results indicate that digital technologies are not simply tools that facilitate communications: they have a substantial impact on the way humans interact and relate to one another. In other words, they affect the dynamics of interpersonal relations

How Students and Schools Use Snapchat

College students love snapchat!

It’s personal, creative, quick, fun, and free.


 “According to research by Sumpto…as much as 77 percent of college students use Snapchat every day.

37 percent of the study respondents cited “creativity” as their main use of the app. “Keeping in touch” and “easier than texting” were reasons for 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.”

Reasons young adults ages 18-26 use snapchat:

  • “I like sharing weird things I see when I’m out…When you get ugly selfies from someone, that’s how you know you’re good friends.”
  • “I only ever use it for funny pictures or to show what I’m doing to my friends, but I have people that use it as a replacement for texting.”
  • “Snapchat is the ultimate social media tool — users want to share their lives to anyone they choose to elicit possible feedback, but without the necessity of it being stored…Snapchat provides an easier answer to Facebook’s ‘What are you doing right now?’ I use it personally to stay in touch with friends and show people what I’m doing.”

Colleges are also starting to get on the bandwagon — Snapchat launched Our Campus Story in October 2014 to four schools.

How Colleges are using snapchat:

  • Orientation: (Tennessee Wesleyan College)  “Where’s Wesley” scavenger hunt
  • Updates: (Tennessee Wesleyan College) Sharing updates about events and activities on campus
  • Recruiting: (Eastern Washington University and the University of Kansas) communicating with young athletes interested in joining their teams

Read more:

NPR Marketplace: Snapchat, a $19 Billion Company?

More IMS blog entries on Snapchat and its use in education:

Peer-reviewed and popular literature:

Robbins, S. P., & Singer, J. B. (2014). From the editor—The medium is the message: Integrating social media and social work education. Journal Of Social Work Education, 50(3), 387-390.

Waxman, O. B. (2014). Snapchat Grows Up: How College Officials Are Using the App. Time.Com, 1.

JO, M. (2014, March 22). Teacher sees value in online connection. Dominion Post, The. p. A2.

Couros, G. (n.d.). Snapchat and Education. Retrieved from
Manjaji, R. (2014, June 4). Six Snapchat Experiments to Engage Students. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from
Wiederman, K. (2014, May 2). Snapchat: The Newest Higher Ed Communication Tool | Merge. Retrieved from
Privacy and security:

Stretton, T., & Aaron, L. (2015). Feature: The dangers in our trail of digital breadcrumbs. Computer Fraud & Security, 201513-15. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(15)70006-0


Ekman, U. (2015). Complexity of the ephemeral – snap video chats. Empedocles: European Journal For The Philosophy Of Communication, 5(1/2), 97-101. doi:10.1386/ejpc.5.1-2.97_1

Flandez, R., & Wallace, N. (2014). Nonprofits Must Guard Against Imposters. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (09),

O’Neil, M. (2014). Oh, Snap! A Q&A With’s Snapchat Strategists. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (01),

MESSITT, M. (2014). Cyberbullying Happens in Code. Break It. Education Digest, 79(9), 51.

Academic Libraries and Social Media – bibliography

  1. Zohoorian-Fooladi, N., & Abrizah, A. A. (2014). Academic librarians and their social media presence: a story of motivations and deterrents. Information Development30(2), 159-171.
    Librarians also believed that social media tools are suitable not only to communicate with users but also
    to facilitate the interaction of librarians with each other by creating librarian groups.
    Librarians also believed that social media tools are suitable not only to communicate with users but also
    to facilitate the interaction of librarians with each other by creating librarian groups. (p. 169)
  2. Collins, G., & Quan-Haase, A. (2014). Are Social Media Ubiquitous in Academic Libraries? A Longitudinal Study of Adoption and Usage Patterns. Journal Of Web Librarianship8(1), 48-68. doi:10.1080/19322909.2014.873663

  3. Reynolds, L. M., Smith, S. E., & D’Silva, M. U. (2013). The Search for Elusive Social Media Data: An Evolving Librarian-Faculty Collaboration. Journal Of Academic Librarianship39(5), 378-384. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.02.007
  4. Chawner, B., & Oliver, G. (2013). A survey of New Zealand academic reference librarians: Current and future skills and competencies. Australian Academic & Research Libraries44(1), 29-39. doi:10.1080/00048623.2013.773865
  5. Lilburn, J. (2012). Commercial Social Media and the Erosion of the Commons: Implications for Academic Libraries. Portal: Libraries And The Academy12(2), 139-153.
    The general consensus emerging to date is that the Web 2.0 applications now widely used in academic libraries have given librarians new tools for interacting with users, promoting services, publicizing events and teaching information literacy skills. We are, by now, well versed in the language of Web 2.0. The 2.0 tools – wikis, blogs, microblogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, video or photo sharing sites, to name just a few – are said to be open, user-centered, and to increase user engagement, interaction, collaboration, and participation. Web 2.0 is said to “empower creativity, to democratize media production, and to celebrate the individual while also relishing the power of collaboration and social networks.”4 All of this is in contrast with what is now viewed as the static, less interactive, less empowering pre-Web 2.0 online environment. (p. 140)
    Taking into account the social, political, economic, and ethical issues associated with Web 2.0, other scholars raise questions about the generally accepted understanding of the benefits of Web 2.0. p. 141
  6. The decision to integrate commercial social media into existing library services seems almost inevitable, if not compulsory. Yet, research that considers the short- and long-term implications of this decision remains lacking. As discussed in the sections above, where and how institutions choose to establish a social media presence is significant. It confers meaning. Likewise, the absence of a presence can also confer meaning, and future p. 149
  7. Nicholas, D., Watkinson, A., Rowlands, I., & Jubb, M. (2011). Social Media, Academic Research and the Role of University Libraries. Journal Of Academic Librarianship37(5), 373-375. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2011.06.023
  8. BROWN, K., LASTRES, S., & MURRAY, J. (2013). Social Media Strategies and Your Library. Information Outlook,17(2), 22-24.
    Establishing an open leadership relationship with these stakeholders necessitates practicing five rules of open leadership: (1) respecting the power that your patrons and employees have in their relationship with you and others, (2) sharing content constantly to assist in building trust, (3) nurturing curiosity and humility in yourself as well as in others, (4) holding openness accountable, and (5) forgiving the failures of others and yourself. The budding relationships that will flourish as a result of applying these rules will reward each party involved.
    Whether you intend it or not, your organization’s leaders are part of your audience. As a result, you must know your organization’s policies and practices (in addition to its people) if you hope to succeed with social media. My note: so, if one defines a very narrow[sided] policy, then the entire social media enterprise is….
    Third, be a leader and a follower. My note: not a Web 1.0 – type of control freak, where content must come ONLY from you and be vetoed by you
    All library staff have their own login accounts and are expected to contribute to and review
  9. Dority Baker, M. L. (2013). Using Buttons to Better Manage Online Presence: How One Academic Institution Harnessed the Power of Flair. Journal Of Web Librarianship7(3), 322-332. doi:10.1080/19322909.2013.789333
    his project was a partnership between the Law College Communications Department, Law College Administration, and the Law Library, involving law faculty, staff, and librarians.
  10. Van Wyk, J. (2009). Engaging academia through Library 2.0 tools : a case study : Education Library, University of Pretoria.
  11. Paul, J., Baker, H. M., & Cochran, J. (2012). Effect of online social networking on student academic performance.Computers In Human Behavior28(6), 2117-2127. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.06.016
    #SocialMedia and  students place a higher value on the technologies their instructors use effectively in the classroom. a negative impact of social media usage on academic performance. rather CONSERVATIVE conclusions.
    Students should be made aware of the detrimental impact of online social networking on their potential academic performance. In addition to recommending changes in social networking related behavior based on our study results, findings with regard to relationships between academic performance and factors such as academic competence, time management skills, attention span, etc., suggest the need for academic institutions and faculty to put adequate emphasis on improving the student’s ability to manage time efficiently and to develop better study strategies. This could be achieved via workshops and seminars that familiarize and train students to use new and intuitive tools such as online calendars, reminders, etc. For example, online calendars are accessible in many devices and can be setup to send a text message or email reminder of events or due dates. There are also online applications that can help students organize assignments and task on a day-to-day basis. Further, such workshops could be a requirement of admission to academic programs. In the light of our results on relationship between attention span and academic performance, instructors could use mandatory policies disallowing use of phones and computers unless required for course purposes. My note: I completely disagree with the this decision: it can be argued that instructors must make their content delivery more engaging and thus, electronic devices will not be used for distraction
  12. MANGAN, K. (2012). Social Networks for Academics Proliferate, Despite Some Doubts. Chronicle Of Higher Education58(35), A20.
    While Mendeley’s users tend to have scientific backgrounds, Zotero offers similar technical tools for researchers in other disciplines, including many in the humanities. The free system helps researchers collect, organize, share, and cite research sources.
    “After six years of running Zotero, it’s not clear that there is a whole lot of social value to academic social networks,” says Sean Takats, the site’s director, who is an assistant professor of history at George Mason University. “Everyone uses Twitter, which is an easy way to pop up on other people’s radar screens without having to formally join a network.
  13. Beech, M. (2014). Key Issue – How to share and discuss your research successfully online. Insights: The UKSG Journal27(1), 92-95. doi:10.1629/2048-7754.142
    the dissemination of academic research over the internet and presents five tenets to engage the audience online. It comments on targeting an audience for the research and suggests the online social networks Twitter,LinkedIn, and ResearchGate as venues. It talks about the need to relate work with the target audience and examines the use of storytelling and blogs. It mentions engaging in online discussions and talks about open access research

Social Media. Crisis Management: What to Do When Your Business Makes a Public Mistake

Crisis Management: What to Do When Your Business Makes a Public Mistake

respond within 24 hours when a crisis happens. Don’t ever let it go all day.

When it happens outside of work hours, make sure you respond within the next work day. Let people know that you are aware of the situation and you’ll get back to them once you have investigated the matter.

On weekends, you need to have someone monitoring your social media channels, and they need to be aware of whom to contact when a crisis arises.

If it’s a case of one blogger who has written something bad, but other people aren’t aware of it, then you need to approach the blogger privately. You’ll hear what you need to look out for in this situation and how to handle it.

When you do have a crisis on your hands, you should always remain honest throughout the communication and make the effort to keep people up to date with what’s happening. People are pretty understanding when you continue to keep them in the loop.


8 Simple Ways to Get Great Media Exposure

8 Simple Ways to Get Great Media Exposure

1. Build Your Media Network
2. Leverage Twitter for Pitching
3. Get in Front of Industry Influencers
4. Optimize Your Visual Assets
5. Plan a Series
6. Syndicate Your Blog Content
7. Target International Press
8. Don’t Forget Traditional Media


12 Types of Blog Posts to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

12 Types of Blog Posts to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

#1: How-to’s and Tutorials

#2: Lists

#3: Resources or Link Lists

#4: Cheat Sheets, Checklists and To-do’s

#5: Reviews

#6: Controversial Posts

#7: Infographics

#8: Podcast Show Notes

#9: Videos

#10: Interviews

#11: Guest Posts

#12: Blog Series

Technology-orientation week: Social Media

March 24-28 – Social Media week

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