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1 THEIR USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA By ELA KAYE ELEY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D EGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Ela Kaye Eley
3 This dissertation is dedicated to Momo and Erma, and Grandmother and Granddaddy for teaching me the value of life long learning.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS plans Lord prosper Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version) This is a journey that could never have happened without the continued love and support of my family and friends. First and foremost, I can only imagine what went through their minds when I told my parents, Jerry and Gea rline Eley, that at the age of #%* & I wanted to quit my job and sell my house in order to get yet another degree. Seemingly without batting an eyelash, they pledged to be there to support me in whatever ways were necessary. I know I put that to the test often, and time and time journey would entail. There is neither time nor space to say how much their love and The unwavering love and support of Kathleen Connolly has made the final climb of this journey attainable. From agreeing to leav e Boston and her beloved snow, in order to move to the heat of the south, she never once complained about supporting me as I pursued my dream. There were complaints about the heat, gators, bugs and football (gasp!), but never about why she had to put up wi th them all. She worked tirelessly at her job and still managed to prepare homemade cookies and brownies when I needed something to keep me going during the long overnight hours of writing o get things done. Thank you for standing by me. My brother and sister in law, Elem and Miriam Eley, have been an important part of my support system during this long journey, to the point of inviting me to live in their home when I was A.B.D. and uncertai n of what I wanted to do. Their continual
5 encouragement has helped me to keep moving on this journey. My brother drove a moving van up and down the East Coast for me as I left Gainesville and moved to New Jersey, and then again as I made the decision to le ave Boston and return to Gainesville. He made travel plans on more than one occasion when I thought I was close to graduation, so I know he is glad this is finally coming to fruition. Thank you for everything! I have been extremely fortunate during my time at UF to have Dr. Kara Dawson as my advisor. There were many times when I lacked confidence in myself, but she never wavered in her belief in my abilities as an academic, as a teacher, and as a person. (At least it never showed if she doubted me!) When I inquired about the possibility of returning to UF to complete my degree, Dr. Dawson did not hesitate to let me know how glad she was that I was finally going to finish. Throughout my time at UF, she has continued to find opportunities for me to expand my h orizons, and has encouraged (and sometimes prodded!) me to stay on track to complete this dissertation. her priorities, has served as a great role model. Pushing me beyond the boundaries of my own thinking, and even beyond what I thought about thinking, has been Dr. Mirka Koro Ljungberg. Each conversation with her left me wanting to find out more, and often about topics I had never heard of before. How she can have s research is beyond me. When I returned to UF and she agreed to still be on my how much I was going to ha ve to step up my game.
6 faith in me, I would not be reaching the end of this remarkable jou also because of them that I want to encourage my own students to do their best and to strive for excellence. In addition, because of the influence of Dr. Dawson and Dr. Koro Ljungberg, I will make sure that my students always get my bes t. To say that I am respect more than either of these two remarkable women. Thank you for helping me to become who I am today. know that it has truly taken a village to help me question, and I know that it was through His guidance that each person was put in my path. The medical care I received from D Health Care Center is unmatched by any medical facility anywhere. They did an amazing job with my health care and in the midst of thousands of students, continued to treat me as an individual. There were so many others that supported me during this incredible journey I goes to Dr. Alyson Adams who agreed to serve on my committee and provided her knowledge of teacher education a nd professional development. Her different perspective helped to add a balance to the conversations. Thank you also goes to Dr. Swapna Kumar who agreed to step in when a committee member left the school. Her shared interest in social media in education hel ped provide me with opportunities for
7 writing and presenting. Each former committee member also aided my growth along the journey and helped me to get to where I am. I am thankful to Dr. Cathy Cavanaugh, Dr. Rick Ferdig, and Dr. Diane Strangis for the role s they had in my journey. A special thank you also goes to Dr. Colleen Swain who was not only one of my Ed Tech professors, but who is also a friend and supporter. This study would not have been possible without the participants who responded to text messa ges at all hours of the night and day. Then there were the key informants who went the extra mile and took time out of their busy schedules for interviews. Not only did they give their time, but they provided rich data for my study. I owe a debt of gratit ude to each of them. To the many students who sat in my classes and helped me to learn and grow as a teacher, thank you! I hope that your passion for teaching will help to influence the next generations. In this study of social media, I would be remiss if I incessant chatter about writing during the late nights. Thank you also goes to my wonderful friend Billy who provided valuable feedback and support at the last hour! This proj ect would never have been completed without him. When I look back at this journey and see the many different and often
8 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 12 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 13 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 14 C CHAPTER 1 I NTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 16 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 16 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 20 Purpose of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 24 Research Question ................................ ................................ ................................ 24 Significance of Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 24 Signi ficance of Question ................................ ................................ ................... 25 Significance of Methods ................................ ................................ ................... 25 Significance of Qualitative Research ................................ ................................ 26 The tradition of qualitative research ................................ ........................... 27 There are stories to be told ................................ ................................ ........ 27 Delimitations and Assumptions ................................ ................................ ............... 28 Definitions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 28 Organization of the Study ................................ ................................ ....................... 29 2 LITERATURE REV IEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 30 Information Consumers Become Content Producers ................................ .............. 30 Web 2.0 Technology ................................ ................................ ........................ 30 Producers of Content ................................ ................................ ........................ 31 Types of Social Media ................................ ................................ ............................. 32 Blogs and Microblogs ................................ ................................ ....................... 33 Group Collaboration Sites ................................ ................................ ................ 35 Content Sharing ................................ ................................ ............................... 37 Social Networks ................................ ................................ ................................ 37 Mobile Technologies ................................ ................................ ........................ 38 Virtual Worlds ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 39 Summary of Social Media Descriptors ................................ .............................. 40 Technology Use in K 12 Classrooms ................................ ................................ ...... 41 Evolution of Classroom Computing ................................ ................................ .. 41 Expectations for 21 st Century Student Learning ................................ ...................... 43 National Educational Technology Plan ................................ ............................. 44 National Educational Technology Standards for Stud ents ................................ 44
9 Common Core State Standards Initiative ................................ ......................... 45 Expectations for 21 st Century Teacher Education ................................ ................... 46 National Education Technology Plan ................................ ................................ 46 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ................................ .. 47 National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers ............................... 47 Preservice Teacher Learning ................................ ................................ .................. 49 chnology ................................ ................... 50 Informal use of social media ................................ ................................ ...... 50 Formal use of social media in higher education ................................ ......... 52 Blogs and microblogs ................................ ................................ ................. 53 Collaborative learning sites ................................ ................................ ........ 54 Social networking ................................ ................................ ....................... 55 Content sharing ................................ ................................ .......................... 55 Virtual worlds ................................ ................................ ............................. 56 Summary of formal learning studies ................................ ........................... 56 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 58 3 DESIGN OF THE STUDY ................................ ................................ ....................... 59 Description of Pilot Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 59 Purpose and Design of Pilot Study ................................ ................................ ... 59 Results of Pilot Study ................................ ................................ ....................... 60 Lesson s Learned from the Pilot Study ................................ .............................. 60 How the Design of the Current Study Evolved ................................ ........................ 62 Finding the Appropriate Epistemological Stance ................................ .............. 62 From a Theoretical Perspective of Constructivism ................................ ........... 63 Early beginnings of constructivism ................................ ............................. 64 Modern era constructivism ................................ ................................ ......... 64 Study Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 66 Determining Type of Sample Needed ................................ .............................. 66 Recruitment Procedures ................................ ................................ ................... 67 Description of Participants ................................ ................................ ................ 68 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 69 Introductory Survey ................................ ................................ .......................... 70 The Experience Sampling Method ................................ ................................ ... 70 Key In formant Selection for Semi structured Interviews ................................ ... 72 Descriptions of key informants ................................ ................................ ... 73 Cassie ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 73 Heather ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 74 Yazmin ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 74 Laura ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 75 Da ta Analysis Approaches ................................ ................................ ...................... 75 Content Analysis ................................ ................................ .............................. 75 Zoom Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 77 Back ground and Role of Researcher ................................ ................................ ...... 79 Validity and Reliability ................................ ................................ ............................. 80 Determining Trustworthiness ................................ ................................ ............ 81
10 Comparative Views of Establishing Rigor in Qualitative Research ................... 82 Limitations and Ethical Considerations ................................ ................................ ... 86 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 87 4 CONTENT ANALYSIS FOR SURVEY AND TEXT MESSAGES ............................ 88 Results of Introductory Survey ................................ ................................ ................ 88 Survey Data Explained ................................ ................................ ..................... 90 The Real Story of Social Media Use ................................ ................................ 91 Content Analysis of T ext Messages ................................ ................................ 92 Identifying Usable Data ................................ ................................ .................... 92 ...................... 94 Entertainment ................................ ................................ ............................. 94 Boredom ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 95 Additional Informal Uses ................................ ................................ ................... 97 Facebook stalkers and creepers ................................ ................................ 98 Using social media for friend and family connections ................................ 99 S ocial media use with mobile technology ................................ ................. 101 Social Media Used for Educational Purposes ................................ ................. 103 Multi tasking with Social Media ................................ ................................ ...... 106 Summary of the Content Analysis ................................ ................................ ......... 108 5 ANALYSIS OF KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS ................................ ................. 109 Participant #1 Cassie ................................ ................................ ................... 110 ................................ 110 Generational narratives of Cassie ................................ ................. 114 ................................ ................................ ................ 118 Evolution from student to peer ................................ ................................ 120 Participant #2 Heather ................................ ................................ ................. 122 ................................ ................................ 123 ................................ ................................ 126 ................................ .............. 129 ................................ .................... 130 Participant #3 Yazmin ................................ ................................ .................. 131 Into the blogosphere with Yazmin ................................ ............................ 132 ................................ ............................. 135 ................................ ................................ ...... 137 ........................ 139 Participant #4 Laura ................................ ................................ .................... 142 ................................ ................................ ....... 143 ................................ ................................ ................ 148 ................................ ..................... 150 Looking for a shared connection with Laura ................................ ............. 150 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ 151 6 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ............... 153
11 An Overview of the Study ................................ ................................ ..................... 153 Synopsis of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................. 154 Informal Uses of Social Media ................................ ................................ ........ 154 Multi tasking Proficiencies? ................................ ................................ ............ 157 Ubiquitous Connectivity ................................ ................................ .................. 158 Privacy, Please ................................ ................................ ............................... 159 Implications for Using Social Media in Teache r Education ................................ ... 161 Implications for Research ................................ ................................ ..................... 164 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 168 APPENDIX A RECRUITMENT EMAILS ................................ ................................ ...................... 170 B RESEARCH STUDY TRAINING SESSION OUTLINE ................................ ......... 172 C TEXT MESSAGE LOG SHEET ................................ ................................ ............ 173 D WEEKLY PHONE FOLLOW UP PROTOCOL ................................ ...................... 179 E SEMI STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ................................ ................. 180 LIST O F REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 182 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 203
12 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Definitions and examples of social media ................................ ........................... 32 3 1 Comparison of rigor and trustworthiness approaches to qualitative research ..... 85 4 1 Social media tools used by participants (as reported in introductory survey) ..... 89 4 2 Number of different kinds of social media used ................................ .................. 91 4 3 Text message responses ................................ ................................ ................... 92 4 4 Actual social media use ................................ ................................ ...................... 93
13 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Keywords from NETS*S and NETS*T ................................ ................................ 48 3 1 Summative approach to qualitative content analysis ................................ .......... 77
14 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THEIR USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA By Ela Kaye Eley December 2012 Chair: Kara Dawson Major: Curriculum and Instruction The use of social networks and other forms of social media have grown exponentially in America over the span of a few years. Using social media can help to promote communication, collaboration and creativity a l l skills that are highly valued in the 21 st media in their personal lives, it is important for educators to be able to utilize these same technologies in the classroom. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to discover how elementary preservice teachers describe their use of social media. Data about social media habits was collected using a survey, text messages, and personal interviews A summative content analysis, as well as a Zoom Model Analysis (Pamphilon, 1994), was conducted on the data. Results of the study show that elementary preservice informal use of social media f ar outweighs their formal use. Other findings include: the degree to which students mul ti task while they are using social media, how often and from how many different locations students access social media, and the priority preservice teachers place on their privacy.
15 gestions for further research into preservice teachers and their use of social media are also the discipline of teacher education to become better informed about different ways preserv ice teachers use social media. Doing so will enable teacher educators to do an optimal job of prepar ing preservice students to use social media.
16 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background B.C.) Never have the words of change attributed to the Greek philosopher Hericlatus been as true as they are at this time. College campuses today look the same as always, aesthetically speaking but a more knowing look reveals a drastically different inf rastructure : wireless enabled dorms, cafes, and common spaces ; students engaged in mobile texting and instant messaging, campus libraries that loan electronic books; study centers without books; students who live thousands of miles apart enrolled in the sa me online course; and cell phones more powerful than the average computer was a generation ago Connectivity is everywhere. Students on those campuses have changed also. Those born into a world where they have always been exposed to technology have been te why these labels have been applied (Selwyn, 2009) and there i s disagreement even among supporters about which birth years to include (Carlson, 2005, Oblinger & Oblinger, 2006; Palfrey & Gas ser, 2008). No matter what label is applied, the basic expectation remains the same : these students are (or will be ) media lite rate and embrace the use of technology in all parts of their lives. However, studies suggest that the Net Generation may not be as savvy as first thought ( Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008 ; Gray, Thompson, Sheard, Clerehan & Hamilton, 2010; Hargittai, 2010). Even in cases where Net Geners are shown to be
17 more proficient with technology than others, there is still a gap between said proficiency and effective use in the classroom (Helsper & Eynon, 2009; Kapitzke, 2001; Kennedy, Dalgarno, Gray, Judd, Wacott, Ben nett, et al, 2007). In other words, the former does not automatically ensure the latter. enriched society, students learn differently than they did 50 years ago. savvy students expect instant gratification in their per sonal lives and in the ways they are taught in the classroom (Berk, 2009; Prensky, 2006). According to Frand (2000) visual communication is high on the list of skills for these students as they are adept at processing disparate elements such as sound, vid eo, text and images in cohesive, meaningful ways In addition, they move seamlessly between the real and virtual worlds (Frand, 2000; Manuel, 2002). Virtual worlds such as Second Life and connected gaming systems such as Nintendo Wii Microsoft Kinect or Sony PlayStation provide fully immersive environments that they navigate with ease These characteristics have significant implications for the classroom. Learners today are no longer content to sit and watch the computer screen, but want their exper iences to be interactive. Students expect to be constantly connected and engaged ; t hey are discovery learners ; t hey need social interaction and collaboration ; and they have limited attention spans (Berk & Trieber, 2009; Brown, 2002; Jenkins, 2006; Junco & Mastrodicasa, 2007; Oblinger & Oblinger, 2006; Tapscott, 1999 & 2009). They make quick decisions and expect others to provide quick responses (Carnevale, 2006; Frand, 2000; Junco & Mastrodicasa, 2007). They are drawn to activities that place an emphasis on conversation, collaboration, and teamwork (Howe & Strauss,
18 2000; Junco & Mastrodicasa, 2007; Manuel, 2002; Ramaley & Zia, 2006; Windham, 2005). In the past few years, these tech savvy learners have begun entering K 12 classrooms as e ducators. As 21st cen tury teachers they are expected by students and parents to excel at communicating and collaborating in our wired, interconnected, media immersed world In addition to mastery of social media it will be just as important for classroom teachers to help stu dents find ways to use various technologies in productive, collaborative ways all while encouraging them to be creative problem solvers (Trilling & Fadal, 2009). In her speech at the 2009 Microsoft Research Tech Fest, Danah Boyd, Senior Researcher at Micr This perspective makes it easy to see that the are the very ones being c ultivated by the use of social media. According to a 2010 report from the U S Department of Education (DOE): To prepare students to learn throughout their lives and in settings far beyond classrooms, we must change what and how we teach to match what peo ple need to know, how they learn, and where and when they learn and change our perception of who needs to learn. Knowing the types of activities students want and how their engagement with social media helps to meet those needs, it is not surprising that as the DOE suggests, these new realities can help to promote learning. According to several cognitive researchers, the following conditions need to be present to support student learning: active engagement, participation in a group, frequent interaction a nd feedback, and connections to real world contexts (Bransford,
19 Brown, & Cocking, 1999). Social media, in its various formats, can help satisfy the criteria of all four components. Moreover, the use of social media in the classroom extends possible teachin g methods beyond traditional lectures and books and helps those who might benefit from a combination of teaching styles (Gardner, 1993). Having the capability to connect from any place at any time may help increase and encourage lifelong learning and expan the years spent in school or the hours spent in the classroom: it must be life long, life learn by fostering e ngagement with the subject matter, encouraging collaboration with others, offering more opportunities to experience real world contexts, and providing the potential for instant feedback and communication (Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin, & Means, 2000). D uring the past five to seven years, the first groups of these supposed technological savants have entered the K 12 classrooms as 21st century educators. They are entering classrooms as teachers that look much like they did when they were in them as student s. In addition to student and parent expectations, there are other pressures on all teachers (not just the Net Generation educators) to bring the use of technology into the classroom. The National Education Technology Plan 2010 highlights the importance of teachers being connected to resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week (Atkins, 2010). It also states that an aspect of a teacher being connected includes motivating students and personalizing instruction. The framework of The Partnership for 21st Centur y Skills adds the requirements of media and information literacy, as well as fundamental technology skills, into the development of critical thinking and problem
20 solving skills, collaboration, communication, and the need for creativity and innovation (Part nership, 2004). Although the need for using social media in the classroom is advocated by educational organizations through written standards such as these, and students and parents are expecting social media to be used in the classroom, perhaps the great est justification for using social media in the classroom is that it can help support the ways in which students learn. Statement of the Problem Scholars have begun to look at how learners are leveraging their constant connectivity and what it may mean in terms of student engagement (Dede, 2009; Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Selwyn, 2010). One issue that has arisen is how to identify the ways students are using different types of social media for learning both in and out of the classroom. In order to establish clearer lines of identifying student behaviors, researchers have begun to use the descriptors of formal and informal learning (Bull et al., 2008; Lucas & Moreira, 2009; Selwyn, 2007). Formal learning is considered by most to be highly structure d, and is usually associated with learning that takes place in classrooms. In the confines of this research project the formal use of social media includes any use of social media required by the instructor, either in or out of the classroom. Informal lea rning may also be structured, but the learning dynamic is in the control of the learner During this time, learning may take place in the in between spaces or the times when the learner is between two or more tasks and is not aware of learning that is t aking place Not only can informal learning be planned or unplanned, it often occurs without the learner recognizing it.
21 Recent years have seen increasing acknowledgment of the importance of socially based, informal modes of learning that occur outside of the classroom (Jamieson, 2009; Livingstone, 2001) These modes are characterized by their unplanned nature, happening anywhere, at any time and without the presence of a teacher. These informal, out of class learning experiences and interactions with pee rs are reported to have a positive impact on student satisfaction and learning and are also worth and confidence (Krause, McInnis, & Welle, 2003; Kuh, 1993). While informal learning can also refer to self directed stu dy, in the context of this paper, informal learning is predicated on the informal use of social media by students Such a frame is justified by Lucas and Moreira description of informal skills, attitudes, and knowledge that derive through their daily activities as well as from the multiple 327). The use of social media in education has also been referred to as being part of a 2008), or simply referred to as Web based learning technology (Chen, Lambert, & Guidry, 2010). Each label refers to the use of W eb tools that allow for creating, sharing, and collaborating with o thers across an interconnected online network. N oted media scholar Clay Shirky talks about the cognitive surplus in society that has emerged because of increased engagement between individuals as they become creators of media rather than passively consum ing forms of media already existing (2008). This cognitive surplus is what takes over in the in between spaces mentioned earlier and helps to propel informal learning forward.
22 There is a great deal of interest in social media and research supports claims that myriad people are on social networking sites daily (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010; Nielson, 2011). With so many activities taking place in cyberspace, and with social media in particular it is important to examine how preservice teachers a re interacting with social media. Previous studies have focused on how computers in the classroom have impacted student achievement (Barrow, Markman, & Rouse, 2009; Muir Herzig, 2004; Wenglinsky, 1990) and numerous studies have explore d the attitudes of st udents and teachers regarding the use of computers in the classroom (Chiu, Chen, C.H., Wu, & Chen, S.W., 2010; Ertmer, 1999; Ertmer, 2005; Hermans, Tondeur, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008; Wood, Mueller, Willoughby, Specht, & Deyoung, 2005). While it is importa nt that all schools finally have Internet access (Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002; U.S. DOE, 2006), it is vitally important to look at how this connectivity is being used. Other s tudies have investigated how often teens are creating video or sending text message s (Bull et al., 2008; Lenhart et al. 2010) and assessed the impact of games / gaming in the classroom (Gee, 2005; Pastore & Falvo, 2010). Each of these studies is important and has helped to further inform the field of educational technology. However, littl e research exists that looks at the informal use of social media outside of the classroom (Furr, McFerrin, Horton, & Williams, 2010; Jacobs, Egert, & Barnes, 2009). Recent publications in the field of educational technology highlight the need for studies t o look at how video and other types of social (or participatory) media are being used by teens and teacher education students to assist with their education related
23 assignments (Bull, et al, 2008; Dede, 2009; Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Kumar, 2009; Lei, 2009). There have been numerous research agendas suggested by educational technology scholars during the latter part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century (Clark, 1989; Driscoll & Dick, 1999; Kozma, 2000; Richey, 1998; Roblyer & Knezek, 2003; Schrum et al., 2005; and Windschitl, 1998). Each proposed agenda was in response to newly perceived needs in the research community, and the knowledge generated in response to these needs contributed to the field and informed future research and practice For example, b ased upon the interconnectivity and creativity encouraged by new Web 2.0 technologies, the May 2009 issue of Educational Researcher contained a sizeable list of research topics for scholars wanting to explore the issue of socia l media to learning (Dede, 2009; Greenhow, Robelia, & Cacopardo, 2009; Owston, 2009; Zhang, 2009). Topics included focusing on what learners do with social media including in both fo rmal and informal settings; exploring types of access to ( and equitable experiences with ) different types of media while gauging how participation with Web 2.0 technologies and corollary practice on determining the educati onal value for learner engagement with social media (Greenhow et al., 2009). The same 2009 issue of Educational Researcher also considered how to approach such research, not just the foci of the research itse lf Different research strategies include d framing the use of the Internet as a literacy issue rather than a technological one (Leu et al., 2009); the use of design based research for the
24 development of Web 2.0 environments that allow for the exploration a nd testing of theory across multiple users, locations, and for increased periods of time (Greenhow et al., 2009); and the use of social media itself as a research tool for investigators (Dede, 2009). In this same spirit, and in response to previously iden tified gaps within the field of technology and teacher education, the present study uses innovative methods, to examine Purpose of Study The purpose of this study is to explore the ways pr eservice teachers use social media and their reasons for doing so. This research is a response to call s from the field of technology and teacher education to provide more information about how social media is being used by preservice teachers to aid in the ir own learning. Examining how preservice teachers describe their own use of social media can help to determine how prepared they will be to use these same technologies in their future classrooms. The further hope is that the results of this study will con tribute to the ongoing dialogue in the field of technology and teacher education about how social media is being used by preservice learners for both formal and informal learning. Research Question The guiding question for this study is: How do preservice elementary teachers describe their use of social media? Significance of Study When examining the points of significance for this study, I looked at the research that has already occurred around the topic of social media and preservice teachers, as well as the needs that have been uncovered by others while conducting their studies. I
25 also explored the different types of research methodologies used for previous studies and methods of data collection and analysis reported on in prior research. After a thoroug h examination of existing research, I determined that this study is significant in three ways: 1. The subject matter of the research question 2. T he methods used for da ta collection and analysis. 3. T he use of qualitative methodology. Significance of Question By asking preservice teachers to describe their own experiences with social media, I am responding to those scholars who have requested more information about how teacher education students experience social media namely the need to focus on what learners are doing with social media for both formal and informal learning as well as the desire to understand and describe their experiences working with these same technologies (Greenhow et al., 2009). Though not expressly addressing teacher educators, Cornelius White suggested that in order to design learner centered teaching that results in student success, university instructors should be willing to adjust their teaching methods to better meet the learning styles of 21st century learners (2007). I anticipate th at b y finding out more about how social media already fits in the lives of 21st century preservice students, teacher educators will be better informed to help them succeed in the classroom. Significance of Methods By using an online scheduling program tha t is a form of social media and text messaging for data collection within the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) (Csikszentmihalyi, Larson, & Prescott, 1977; Csikszentmihalyi and Schneider, 2001; to use social media as a
26 tool for the actual research study, rather than as just an object of research (2009). The use of text messaging for this study is of particular significance because it will allow me to have around the clock access to participants and provide further insight into how they make use of social media for both formal and informal learning. This has more meaning when viewed from the perspective of Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes : teachers, and schools harness Web 2.0 for educa tive purposes, research is required to understand the technological, ethical, educational, and social practices across the life span, including technology use across a whole day (e.g., home, work, school, mobile 248). There is added sig nificance when considering what the Zoom Model of Analysis (Pamphilon, 1999) contributes to the study. The use of four levels of exploration for each participant provides the ability to gain a richer understanding of the experience and perspect ive of each individual subject. Significance of Qualitative Research This is a qualitative study that uses a theoretical framework of constructivism to guide the research. Being able to highlight the importance of each individual story is significant for t his study because of the dearth of social media research that relies on self reporting and the co constructed story between the researcher and the participants. In fact, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is unique for its approach to resear Granted, not all research is conducted in such a way, but the funding available for their researc h allows them to publish quality findings of their studies.
27 The tradition of qualitative research Qualitative research gives voice to the myriad of parts that comprise the whole story. One of the compelling characteristics of qualitative research is that it strives to not just surface level metrics or descriptive statistics The signature characteristic of qualitative research is that the researcher is studying things in their natural setting s to grasp the mea ning the individual is bringing to it (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). The qualitative researcher seeks to make sense of the data collected something best done by considering the data in context. Research has shown that the use of technology by teachers in the classroom is influenced by how much value they see in the technology (Bitner & Bitner, 2002; Ertmer, 1999; Franklin, 2007) Therefore, in order to positively influence teachers to use technology, it is important for teacher education programs to provide p ositive experiences using social media in the classroom and in their field experiences. This study will help teacher education programs identify ways to provide positive experiences with social media. By using qualitative research for this study, I gained a deeper understanding ( see Creswell, 2007) of how preservice teachers are using social media. There are stories to be told Every person has a story that needs to be told, and the use of qualitative research makes this narrative approach feasible In fact qualitative research insists that the stories be told. It is easy to look at facts and figures and say that for example over 47% of Americans ( Lenhart et al. 2011) are involved with some kind of social networking site (SNS) while noting that several l arger school systems have banned social media interaction between teachers and students a nd in so doing conclude that social media has no place in education. However, just having these bits of information
28 do little to shed light on the underlying narrati ve Stories can be told with simple facts, or stories can be full of rich descriptions. Qualitative research attempts to get to the core of why things are the way they are. While quantitative research deals more with numbers or other metrics qualitative r esearch uses words and pictures to describe the phenomena being studied. When a person has their story told, it decreases their sense of isolation and increases their sense of power (Lamott, 1990). Yet, the stories that arise from qualitative research go b stories must be based on empirical evidence assimilated by a researcher who remains open to what can be learned from others without forcing his or her own beliefs into the storyline. Life stories evok e emotion and it is important that we allow the writing to teach us about life (Goldberg, 1986). In order for a story to draw the reader in, it must engage words on the page and help to bring an understanding of others life stories to the world. Delimitations and Assumptions The target group for this study is fourth and fifth year preservice elementary teachers at a large university in the southeastern United States. These students have already completed two required courses related to technology: a skills based course and a course focused on technology integration. The study assumes the students use social media outside of the classroom, both for academic and non academic p urposes Definitions The following definitions will be useful in guiding the reader through the study: C ONSTRUCTIVISM focuses on the meaning making of an individual (Crotty, 1998). F ORMAL LEARNING occurs in the classroom or as required by the course instructor.
29 I NFORMAL LEARNING describes learning and engagement that occurs outside formal school settings (National Science Foundation, 2009). P RE SERVICE TEACHERS are students enrolled in a plan of study leading to a degree in teaching who may or may not be involved in a classroom internship. S OCIAL MEDIA is any online website or mobile application where the line between creating and using resources is blurred; and open dialogue between creators, users, and observe rs is encouraged (adapted from B oyd & Ellison, 2007). Organization of the Study This study is organized into six chapters. Chapter 1 has defined the problem and stated the purpose for the study. Chapter 2 reviews the related and relevant literature. Chapter 3 outlines the design of the stud y, provides an overview of the methodology, and describes the data gathering process and how the participants were selected for inclusion in the study. The content analysis of the preliminary survey and text messages can be found in Chapter 4, and the Zoom Method analysis of key informant interviews is described in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 contains the study synopsis, conclusion, and suggests future directions in this line of research The references and appendices can be found following Chapter 6.
30 CHAPTER 2 L ITERATURE REVIEW An examination of existing research is necessary to better understand this study of elementary preservice with a description of six different types of social media with examples o f each. To become more familiar with the use of social media within the classroom context, a brief overview of technology use in K 12 classrooms from the development of the microcomputer to the present day, is included. This overview is followed by an exp loration of the status of teacher education Last, recent studies describing college will be discussed Chapter 1 provided a broad overview of this qualitative research study and the examples provided in Chapter 2 will add depth to the understanding of the issues surrounding preservice use of social media. Information Consumers Become Content Producers In order to gain a better understanding of social media, one must first be familiar with terms us ed to describe the online environment Once this vocabulary lesson is complete, it is productive to consider how the functions of these various tools allow them to be classified as social media. Finally, current research involving social media technologi es that are part of the online environment will be put into context Web 2.0 Technology Despite being used interchangeably, Web 2.0 and social media are not synonymous. Rather, social media is a subset of Web 2.0. The term Web 2.0 was first introduced to m ean a futuristic view in Darcy DiNucci after the 2005 conference on
31 Prior to that people did not use the when referencing sites on the Internet, but rather W eb were considered much more static than the dynamic ways it is currently being utilized (Click & Petit, 2010). The Web that had become familiar to everyone was full of information to be consumed. During the early days of the Web, not much thought given to where information was coming from, how its veracity or authenticity could be determined or even how it was being produced. Simply because the inf ormation was on the Web gave it sufficient credibility for many (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000) In fact, those who published Web pages were seen as subject experts by the majority of Internet users (Burgess, Gray, & Fiddian, 2004 ; Cline & Haynes, 2001; Nichola s, Hunti ngton, Williams, & Dobrowolski, 2006; Savolainen, 2002). Due to its recognition as a vast storehouse of knowledge, the World Wide Web label is still debated, but it is widely accept ed that then Vice President Al Gore popularized the term in 1994.) Producers of Content The new Web, sometimes referred to as the Read Write Web, provide s an opportunity for everyone, not just those who are viewed as experts, to communicate, interact, coll aborate and create content (Maddux & Liu, 2005; Xu, Ouyang, & Chu, 2009 ). It is this theoretical capability for everyone to contribute or participate that helps to define phenomena such as social media (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison, & Weigel, 200 5). Technically speaking, i n order to be classified as social media, a website or mobile application must provide the opportunity for users to view, create or exchange information In addition, users must be able to communicate with others about the conte nt that is present The de facto result is the blurring of the lines between what
32 in the original Web era would have been the clearly defined roles of producers and consumers This ability to connect with others has contributed to the explosive growth of s ocial media in the past five years. Types of Social Media Social media may be divided into six distinct categories: blogs and microblogs collaborative projects such as social bookmarks and wikis content sharing communities social networking mobile social networks virtual worlds o virtual social worlds o virtual game worlds o virtual learning worlds. While most prior research excludes mobile social networks (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010 ; Scialdone, Rotolo, & Snyder, 2011), with over 50 million people around the glob e using mobile social networks (Shannon, 2008), the use of these mobile technologies can no longer be glossed over. This is of particular consequence since one of their primary functions is to help build and reinforce social ties. Definitions and examples of various social media categories are described in Table 2 1 Table 2 1 Definitions and e xamples of s ocial m edia Category Definition Major Vendors Blogs, Microblogs A blog is an online journal or diary that is updated regularly; displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs can include text, images, videos, and links. The ability for blog readers to leave comment s is determined by the author. M icroblog s allow small snippets of information to be shared. Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogge r, Twitter Group Collaboration Group collaboration sites allow multiple authors and sharing of information. Wikipedia Google Docs
33 Table 2 1. Continued Category Definition Major Vendors Content Sharing Content (original, curated, or mixed) may b e posted for others to view and comment upon. YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Pinterest Social Networks Social networks allow users to create a profile, share information, and make connections (B oyd & Ellison, 2007). Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn Virtual [ Game ] Worlds User s through an avatar, micro control elements inside a simulated environment (Gee, 2008). Most multi player games have a chat feature that allows players to communicate World of Warcraft, Runescape Virtual [ Social ] Worlds A 3 D simulated env ironment that allows interaction between avatars. Second Life Virtual [ Learning ] Worlds Online environments created especially for education. Most of these spaces are controlled by a CMS, or Content Management System Moodle, Desire2Learn, Vista Mobi le Social Networks Mobile social networks consist of multiple apps (applications) that enable sharing of information without a web based browser. Foursquare, Gowalla, Tweetdeck, Facebook (which now includes a text messaging option) Blogs and Microblogs B logs and microblogs give everyone the opportunity to be a published author on the Web Blogs began as lists, or a log, of other websites in the early 1990s, thus leading to their original name of web logs or weblog As people began to share more personal information online a nd the weblog became more like an online diary or personal journal t he name was simplified to blog In their early stages, blogs only included the original text as entered and edited by him or her; blogging did not
34 permit c omments or two way communication C urrent blogs by contrast, may include text, images, video, audio, links to other websites or various electronic documents. Blog entries are typically displayed in reverse chronological order and may be the of a n individual, business, news media, or other entity In addition, the blog author decides whether visitors can leave comments or not thus giving blogs the ability to be considered as social media The first significant increase in blog popularity occur red during the Iraq war in 2003 as journalists and soldiers created personal blogs that provided a deeper insight into battlefield events. Next, journalists began to present breaking news in their blogs during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Bos ton (The New York Times, 2004) Thus blogging became a way to disseminate news ahead of newspapers or television newscasts. The free anytime access to blogs on the Internet allowed those interested in American politics (be they here or abroad) to quickly know what was taking place at the c onvention in Boston (Petersen, 2004). Once the capability to capture a widespread audience was recognized, many more non journalists began publishing their own blogs. At present there are numerous blogging platforms avail able for those interested The authoring sites with the most popularity in the United States include Blogger and WordPress. Blogs have been used by both teachers and students in elementary classrooms for communication, reflection and collaboration purpos es. Classroom blogs may be a place for teachers to present content to students, dispense news to parents, showcase student work, allow students a place to reflect, or provide an authentic audience for student writing (Baker, 2007) When u sed collaborativel y as literature response forums
35 teachers can solicit responses from students about a specific book or story they were assigned to read (Barton, Boling, Castek, Nierlich & Zawilinski, 2008; Zawilinski, 2011) Microblogs are similar to blogs with one major exception: they are limited to between 140 200 characters, depending upon the platform. Microblogs began in the mid 2000s and may include text, single images, or links to audio, video, or websites. Due to their short nature, they have been compared to text ing or instant messaging. Much like blogs, microblogs may be open and participatory or private disallowing commentary Just as blogs first gained popularity through widespread use by news media, the extensive popularity of microblogs is often attributed t o celebrities who post personal information for their fans (Efron, 2011; Schmidt & David, 2011). In fact, three current pop icons in the United States L ady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry h ave a combined Twitter following of almost 90 million people L aunched in 2006, Twitter is currently the most popular micro blogging platform in the United States, boasting over 140 millio n registered users (Twitter 2012). Tumblr, another popular microblog sharing platform, logs over 50 million posts daily (Tumblr 2012). Group Collaboration Sites Giving each team member the opportunity to have equal input is an advantage of social media collaboration tools such as wikis, social bookmarks, and Google Docs. In true collaborative fashion, wikis allow multiple users to access and edit the same information from multiple places at different times. The creator of each wiki determines who has permission to edit or comment on the pages created. Wikis maintain an archive of edited data and give the user the ability to rest ore the page to its pre revision state There are many private wiki sites, but the most popular large group collaboration wiki is Wikipedia created in 2001. Wikipedia continues to grow and has over 21 million
36 articles in 280 languages. Out of these, fou r million entries are in English (Wikipedia:Statistics, 2012 ). As a collaborative tool, social bookmarks allow users to become ad hoc curators of web based information that can then be retrieved at a later time. Social bookmarking sites function just as b ookmarks, or favorites, on a local computer they allow the address of a specific website to be retained and accessed at a later time. The difference is that social bookmarks allow all links to be saved in one place and accessed from any location with an Internet connection. Most social bookmarking sites allow for the use of tags, or keywords, to organize information. Being able to share sites with others and having the option to include user comments place social bookmarks squarely in the category of soci al media. Delicious and Diigo are popular text based social be the first true ima ge based social bookmarking site (eBiz, 2012). as an Internet search engine. In keepin g with the latter part of its mission, it has also developed a number of online tools that allow collaboration among users. Google Docs is a free tool that allows multiple users to create, share, comment upon, and edit the same document, spreadsheet, or sl ide presentation. The ability to connect asynchronously with others and easily collaborate on projects has helped to make Google Docs popular.
37 Content Sharing Other social media categories are a bit different from content sharing sites because additional p rograms or applications may be needed to create content before it can be shared. Blogs, microblogs, and group collaboration sites allow for the creation of content within their pages but only after images, sounds, or videos are uploaded. YouTube, a free vi deo hosting site, is one of the most widely recognized content sharing sites on the Web Theoretically, a nyone with a video camera and access to the Internet can become a movie producer. Over four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, w ith the production quality ranging from the work of young children using a Fisher Price video camera to that of expert production companies and multi billion dollar studios. Videos are currently being uploaded to YouTube at the rate of 72 hours of viewable material per minute, including three of those hours coming just from mobile phones (YouTube, 2012). Social Networks Social networking sites (SNS), are the most widely used category of social media. They may be defined as any web based location that allows users to create a personal profile, interact with people they chose to allow, and then access or exchange information with p eople in that selected circle (B oyd & Ellison, 2007). There is a great deal of interest in social networks in America, and indeed, research supports claims that millions of people are on social networking sites daily (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010; Nielson, 2011). With the proliferation of social networking sites, the larger question becomes not k, but what activities are taking place in the network. With the ability to post status updates on current activities, store and display pictures, play online
38 games, chat with other users and more SNS have options for everyone. Facebook, MySpace, and Goog le Plus are currently three of the most popular social networking sites in the United States (eBiz, 2012). Mobile Technologies T he term mobile technology frequently invokes the idea of a cell phone. However, any technology that is easily portable whether it is a smartphone, netbook, e reader, or tablet computer, is also considered a type of mobile technology. Mobile devices allow users to complete a multitude of tasks, including shop ping work, play ing games, read ing books, study ing brows ing the Internet, and obtaining news. Mobile social networks such as Foursquare, Nextdoor, or roamz go beyond Facebook and MySpace insomuch as they allow users to connect to and share with others based not only on similar interests but also on geographic location. Remarka bly, m ore people connect to social networks through their mobile devices than with a desktop computer (PRNews, 2012), therefore it is important to consider them in any study of social media. The use of gaming applications ( or apps) on mobile phones has bec ome very popular over the last few years. A 2011 study of mobile phone users in the United States and United Kingdom discovered that 44% of mobile phone users in the US had played an online game in the previous year. In addition, 28% of US mobile phone own ers were identified as someone who had played a game on their phone within the past month. Avid users, or 21% of those in the US, were identified as those who had played games on their phone within the past week (Information Solutions Group, 2011). As of M ay 2012, Angry Birds Draw Something Temple Run and Words with Friends were among the most popular gaming apps ( FreeGamesLike, 2012; Ionescu, 2012).
39 Virtual Worlds Not all researchers agree on the definition of a virtual world (Schroeder, 2008; Bell, 200 8) However, many virtual world scholars ( Ang, Zaphiris, & Mahmood, 2007; Vosinakis, Koutsabasis, & Zaharias, 2011 ) reference the definition given by Richard Bartle in his seminal 2003 work, Designing Virtual Worlds Virtual worlds are real time, automate d, persistent, shared, imaginary places you can visit through the vehicle of a avatar, or an onscreen representation of the user. Virtual worlds are make believe spaces that can be accessed at any time via an online connection. The avatars of virtual world users can move about and perform different tasks, depending upon the characteristics of a given virtual world. Two different environments are possible: open and less op en. Open worlds allow the user to literally create and follow their own path, while avatars in less open environments must travel the path presented to them based on the choices they make inside the virtual world (Bartle, 2003). The more open environments are often referred to as sandboxes (an analogy related to the freedom of movement in the playground sandbox) while the less open are labeled structured There are three main categories of virtual worlds social worlds, game worlds, and learning spaces. O ne distinguishing factor of social worlds and other virtual worlds is that in a social world, things continue to happen even when a member of the community is not present, whereas in a virtual game world, the avatar must be present for the passage of time to occur (Ducheneaut, Moore, & Nickell, 2004; Eladhari & Lindley, 2004). Avatars in social worlds have very few constraints and are able to move around at will. Nanopets, Club Penguin, and Barbie World are social worlds marketed
40 specifically to children, w hile Sims World and Second Life provide virtual living spaces to a general audience. Virtual game worlds allow avatars to compete in a world of fantasy, science fiction, sports, or even a virtual depiction of the real world. The most popular category of game worlds is the massively multiplayer online role playing game (or MMORPGs), where large numbers of players are connected together in a shared gaming environment (Ang, Zaphiris, & Mahmood, 2007; Ducheneaut, Yee, Nickell, & Moore, 2006). Not only does th e action in many of these virtual games take place in real time, players are also able to communicate with each other. Virtual learning spaces allow for multiple users to access content and interact in an environment designed to facilitate learning. Most virtual learning environments are controlled by a course management system that allows students to communicate synchronously or asynchronously. Popular course management systems include Moodle, Sekai, Vista, and Desire2Learn, many of which require licensi ng fees. Summary of Social Media Descriptors Whether through the use of blogs and microblogs, group collaboration tools, content sharing, social networks, mobile social networks, or virtual worlds, the functions of social media are seemingly limited only b 1st c entury t eachers must be prepared to learn with 2 1st c entury s tudents as they explore the benefits of social media for the development of 2 1st C entury S kills such as collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation, an d critical thinking and problem solving ( Framework for 21st Century, 2004 ). This proposition requires a brief accounting of technology in the K 12 classroom followed by an exploration of
41 how social media tools can benefit the teaching and learnin g process classrooms. Technology Use in K 12 Classrooms Technology in schools has changed greatly since the introduction of the first classroom microcomputer in 1977 and now includes much more than just PCs Technologies in classrooms today incl ude digital clickers, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and interactive whiteboards. This section will present an overview of how technology use in the classroom has evolved and accompanying educational standards that can promote the use of technology and social media in particular in the classroom. Evolution of Classroom Computing Computer use in classrooms has gone through stages correlated with variations of behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist learning theories. For example, d rill and practice programs and teacher directed learning were each supported by the behaviorist theory (Niemiec & Walberg, 1987; Skinner, 1966) For its part, software like for problem solving (Papert, 1980) Anchored instruction was a type of situated cognition explored by Bransford and the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1990). Hypermedia which advanced views on the learner as producer had its basis in structivism (Chung and Yuen, 2003; Vygotsky, 1978) This development was followed closely by productivity tools and the concept of learning from constructivist theory of Mindtools (2000) The most significant ch ange in the use of technology in the classroom over the last decade is that learners are no longer passive users of technology. Web based
42 social media tools encourage user socialization and collaboration (Behrstock Sherratt & Coggshall, 2010 ; Hicks & Grabe r, 2010) Learners now embrace their new role as content creators rather than mere consumers of informati on (Halverson & Smith, 2009 ). This creation and exchange of user created content helps learners take ownership of their own learning (Kaplan & Haenlein 2010). In addition, when this ownership happens they become more empowered (Anderson, 2007). The use of social media provides a sense of empowerment to those who are collaborating, authoring, and sharing content across the Web (Lietsala & Sirkkunen, 200 8; Nevalainen & Hannunen, 2009). Teachers in the classroom were the lynchpin for each of the previous stages of that determined the types of computer interaction that tr anspired in that space. It was the teacher that made all the decisions pertaining to the types of activities that students would engage in for learning. I n the digital age, however, classrooms have moved from a more teacher centered approach to a student c entered approach that allows students to have more control over their own learning (Dunn & Rakes, 2010; Peters, 2010) The advent of online networked learning for example, has seen the emergence of new ideas. One of the concepts currently being discussed is connectivism the notion that knowledge is distributed across connected networks, and learning occurs during the construction and connection of those networks learning (Bell, 2009; Ravenscroft, 2011; Siemans, 2005). Connectivism was introduced as a le arning theory by George Siemens in 2005. While it has yet to garner widespread acceptance as a learning theory, the principles
43 associated with connectivism provide educators and other instructional designers a way of looking at the relationship between lea rning and social media. Understanding this relationship may help deepen the understanding of ways in which informal learning occurs. : Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. Learning may reside in non human appliances Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known. Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning. Abili ty to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. Currency (accurate, up to date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. Decision making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision (2005). The connectivism of social media puts 21 st c en tury students in control of their own learning and empowers them to make their own choices about what is important to their learning. Expectations for 21 st Century Student Learning S tudents are already using many forms of social media outside the classroom and state and national standards set an expectation for social media use inside the classroom. As access to the Internet has grown in homes and schools, the capability now exists for K 12 students to use social media ubiquitously. Since the expectations for 21 st c entury s tudent learning reflect directly on what the 21 st c entury t eacher needs
44 to be able to plan for in the classroom, it is wise to look at requirements for student learning. National Educational Technology Plan Much of the current focus in ed ucation is being placed on the need for students to learn to use new technologies to engage in learning. The National Education Technology Plan (NETP), Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology was designed by the United States Depart ment of Education in 2010. The NETP draws attention to around the clock access students have to resources and information, their proficiency in creating and sharing content, and the ability to connect with others through the use of online social networks. According to the Executive Summary of the NETP, since this ubiquitous access to resources has become part of the new normal, the challenge for educators engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for al l learners that mirror p. 4 ). National Educational Technology Standards for Students the National Educational Techn ology Standards for Students (NETS* S ), developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) The six categories of student standards are: 1. Creativity and innovation 2. Communication and collaboration 3. Research and information fluency 4. Critic al thinking, problem solving, and decision making 5. Digital citizenship 6. Technology expectations and concepts
45 The original NETS*S, published in 2000, focused on learning to use technologies but placed little emphasis on the thought processes that using those technologies required. In contrast, the 2007 u pdate to the NETS *S, in draw ing attention to the need for technologies such as social media, focuses too on the thought processes that enable students to create content, communicate, and collaborate with other s. Common Core State Standards Initiative Other expectations for students are set forth in the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). The CCSSI sets forth both Language Arts and Mathematics standards that emphasize the need to use social media in the classroom. The purpose of the CCSSI is to help all students receive a high quality and consistent educational experience, no matter where in the United States they may attend school (Draft K12 C ommon, 2010). As of June 2011, all but six states had volu ntarily adopted the Common Core State Standards. Much like the NETS*S the CCSSI addresses the need for students to access resources and select the best technology to create and publish content, communicate ideas, and collaborate with others n ot simply f or students to know how to use the various forms of technology. If 21 st c entury s tudents are to achieve learning in line with the Common Core State Standards, their teachers will need to be prepared to plan authentic experiences in the classroom that will allow them to successfully meet and exceed the standards. One of the expected impacts of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is to help colleges and professional development programs better prepare teachers to help students achieve these goals. S eve ral common themes run throughout the NETP, the NETS, and the CCSSI. Not only does each set forth basic expectations for what 21 st c entury s tudents need in order to achieve success in the new digital age, but these
46 expectations make it clear that 21 st c entu ry t eachers are also responsible for engaging with the technologies to make a difference in their own learning, as well as with student learning. This means that teacher education programs must find ways to connect the use of social media to teaching and l earning for 21 st c entury t eachers. Expectations for 21 st Century Teacher Education With the explosion of social media over the last five years, it is important to look at how this new phenomena is impacting teacher education, including how educational stan dards and policies emphasize the need for teachers to incorporate social media in the classroom. National Education Technology Plan In examining the National Education Technology Plan 2010 (NETP) earlier, we noted the ubiquitous access students have to re sources and information. In addition to the focus on what student s need to be able to do, the NETP emphasizes the need for teacher education programs that enable teachers to better understand how their daily teaching practices can be improved through the u se of technology. This progress the Plan argues, should come in the form of ensuring that educators have continual access to resources needed to help improve their teaching practices Such resources include learn ing to use social media and social networks as well as creating their own communities of practice. In February 2011, Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the United States Department of Education, provided a video response to questions concerning student learning and th e NETP According to Cator, in order for classrooms to enable students to compete on the global stage, it is important for educators to learn to leverage the activities that students are involved with outside of school to help with
47 accomplishments inside s chool. Cator suggests that this challenge should be addressed by encouraging educators to take advantage of the use of widespread mobile technologies, make better use of digital content, and help learning inside the school to become more powerful by using social networks for learning. Cator further stated that education in the 21st century needs to transition from a predominantly print based classroom to a digital learning environment (Edutopia, 2011). National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educatio n The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) provides a framework that all colleges and universities with teacher preparation programs must meet in order to receive accreditation. The latest NCATE unit standards make it clear that teacher education candidates should be able to present content clearly to students and be well equipped to integrate technology in the classroom (NCATE, 2008). Among the 22 national organizations that help develop standards for NCATE are the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). While the AECT contributes to standards for secondary computer education elementary education programs rely on the National Educational Technology Standard from ISTE. National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers The National Educational Technology Standards not only de scribe expectations for students (via the NETS *S ) they also lay out guidelines for teachers in the NETS*T. The N ETS*T published in 2000 emphasized learning how to use the actual technology as a tool, while the 2008 updated NETS*T focus ed more on how emergent technologies, such as social media, can help with creating content, collaboration, and communicating with oth ers. The five categories for teacher standards are:
48 1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. 2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments. 3. Model digital age work and learning. 4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility. 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. A visual perspective of the combined NETS*S and NETS*T is depicted in Figure 2 1 Figure 2 1 Keywords from NETS*S and NETS*T When looking at the keywords from the two sets of technology sta ndards, it is evident that 21 st c entury t eachers will have their hands full. Not only will they need to be equipped to meet the expectations for teachers, but they will also need to model behaviors connected to the standards for 21 st c entury s tudents. Hav ing discussed different types of social media, and the need for 21 st c entury t eachers to become versed in how to use them appropriately in the educational environment, it is time to examine what is already known about how undergraduates are using social me dia.
49 Preservice Teacher Learning Educational technologists have long stressed the importance of integrating technology in the classroom for the purpose of enhancing student learning (Dede, 1996; Gardner, 2000; Jonassen, 1999; Tunison, 2002). As seen earli er, computing in the classroom has an established history, going back to the development of the first microcomputer in 1977 (Braun, 1981). Just as the types of technology available in the classroom have changed, so too must the focus of teaching and learni ng become more in sync with new technologies. If 21 st c entury t eachers are going to be able to harness the power of social media in o rder to benefit student learning, they must learn how to use it effectively. Research indicates that intervening in preserv ice teachers educational training classroom (Ertmer, 2003; Grabe, 2001; Roblyer, 2003). 21 st c entury t eachers need to gain insight into how technology can be used as a potent c ognitive tool to help students understand and manage the information that is presented to them (Tunison, 2002). In addition, the attitude of the classroom teacher toward technology can positively or negatively affect the experiences their students have wit h technology (Bai & Ertmer, 2009; Ertmer, Addison, Lane, Ross, & Wood, 1999; Judson, 2006.) Educational researchers have also discovered that most teachers are going to teach the way they themselves were taught (Metros, 2008; Czerniak & Lumke, 1996; Borko & Mayfield, 1996; Willcoxson, 1998). Since many of these teacher attitudes are developed through personal experience with technology, either as a student or a teacher (Albion & Ertmer, 2002), it is important to provi de opportunities for positive experience s with social media in relation to teacher education courses.
50 There have been several studies conducted on how and where learning takes place that confirm the benefits of informal learning (Bull et al ., 2009; Gerber, Cavallo, & Marak, 2001; Greenhow et al ., 2009; Selwyn, 2007). Informal learning, or any learning that takes place outside of the structured learning environment occurs whenever a student encounters a real problem in an authentic setting (Kuh, 1993; Madge, Meek, Wellens, & Hooley, 2009). Accor ding to Lave (1988), some teachers are so insistent that students must solve a problem in one specific way that students have actually created faux examples of their work so that their teacher would think they did it the way they had been instructed in the formal learning environment. 21 st c entury t eacher and s tudents must be prepared to embrace learning in both formal and informal settings. Up to this point, I have described different forms of social media, how K 1 2 computer use has evolved, and expectations for 21st century students and teachers. The focus now turns to the ways in which undergraduate students a re engaging with social media. Informal use of social media Additional studies of classroom instruction in corporating the use of social media indicate that they have the potential to help transform a shift in the teaching and learning process. The 2008 ECAR s tudy made the bold claim that students have already integrated social networking sites into their acade mic lives communicating with classmates about course related topics, coordinating study groups, The growing popularity of social media and digital techno logies has given rise to a number of studies conducted by private media or research firms. A 2009 examination
51 of social networking use by Lenhart indicated that of the teens and young adults on social networking sites, ures 71% sent private messages to friends 54% participated in instant messaging or chat features Not only is young adult ownership of mobile devices increasing rapidly, but owner Report on the State of the News Media found a record number of young adults with mobile devices. Based on a comparison o f surveys conducted in November 2011 and May 2012, the repo rt stated that while desktop and laptop ownership had remained stable, smartphone ownership increased from 35% to 44% and tablet ownership almost doubled, going from 11% to 18%. The most significant finding concerned the number of owners with more than one mobile device. Results indicated that 52% of all laptop owners also owned smartphones, 33% owned tablets, and 13% of the laptop owners owned all three devices. In addition, over 17% of the smartphone owners included in the survey use d their smartphone as the primary device for Internet browsing. While the above studies provide insight on social media habits of young adults, it is important to note that they draw from the complete population of young adults, not just undergraduates. On the other hand, the 2 012 ECAR Annual Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology was administered on over 195 campuses and resulted in responses from over 100,000 undergraduates. Information gathered from students revealed: 62% own smartphones
52 37% use smartphone s for academic purposes 70% use e books 15% own a tablet device; 67% use it for academic purposes 12% own a digital e reader; 47% use it for academic purposes In addition, the 2012 ECAR study found that 58% of the students prefer to keep their academic an d social lives separate and therefore use social media more for connecting with friends than for academic purposes While they text, instant message, and chat online with their friends, they prefer email for communicating with their instructors. The 2012 s preferred method of interaction with instructors: 28% instant messaging or online chat 27% text messaging 24% Internet based phone or video 21% Course Management System (such as Moodle) 20% social studying sites Ano ther notable result of the study was that 87% of the undergraduates surveyed e ven those enrolled in online classes c onsidered face to face interaction with the instructor as either very important or extremely important. The Pew Research studies provide data gathered from the mainstream population and the ECAR studies provide information applicable to undergraduates. Although the target population for the current research project is encompassed within these larger studies, the need remains to find resear ch that looks specifically at elementary preservice teachers and how they engage with social media informally. Formal u se of s ocial m edia in h igher e ducation Facebook, wikis, mobile technologies, Second Life, Twitter and even MMORPGs have steadily found their way into the higher education classroom s during the last few years There are limited numbers of studies specifically involving
53 settings, and even fewer that examine the impact of social media on informal learning. Blogs and microblogs Blogs were first introduced into teacher education class rooms in 2003 (Kajder & Bull, 2004). Requiring a low level of technological prowess, blogs have been used by teacher educators to encourag e preservice students to become reflective, to increase writing skills, and as a form of assessment (Chan & Ridgway, 2005; Shabb, Stonehouse, Smart, & Gourneau, 2009; West, Wright, Gabbitas, & Graham, 2006 ; Yang, 2009 ) While once seen as an innovative app roach to bringing technology into the higher ed ucation classroom, blogs have so oversaturated the classroom that in a poll asking undergraduates what one technology they wished their instructors used more often, only 7% responded that they wanted more blo gs w hile the majority of respondents indicated blogs were overused in the classroom. This finding fits with results from the 2010 Pew Internet Study showing that blog use by those between 18 29 years of age actually decreased ( drastically ) between 2006 a nd 2009 (Lenhart et al. 2010). Elsewhere, m icroblogging through the use of Twitter was used in a class for pre Health Professional majors as a way of engaging students. One of the reasons cited for selecting Twitter instead of Facebook was that it allowed the convenience of ongoing dialogue away from the classroom, thereby maximizing instructional time. Research into the experience indicated that students were engaged in ways that were meaningful for their educational and psychosocial development. In addit ion, the increased motivation and sense of community led to improved grades (Junco, Heibergert, & Loken, 2010).
54 Collaborative learning sites Wikis have been used in teacher education classrooms to aid preservice teachers with language acquisition, increase their understanding of instructional approaches to the teaching of reading, and to promote student reflection (Kessler, 2005; Solvie, 2008; West, Wright, & Graham, 2005). In one study, wikis were used with preservice teachers at a Mexican University who w ere experiencing language difficulties. Although the object of collaboratively using the wiki was to allow students to engage with each other and practice their grammar, students were seen to spend more time focusing on the form of their wiki than the cont ent (Kessler, 2005). One classroom activity that focused on helping elementary preservice teachers understand instructional approaches to the teaching of reading through the use of a wiki took into account individual learning styles. Student recognition of the use of wikis in the construction of knowledge was one result of the study. In addition, the preservice teachers realized that scaffolding was necessary in order to assist students in using the wiki for the construction of their knowledge (Solvie, 2008 ). Social bookmarking is another form of collaborative projects undertaken with social media in the preservice teacher classroom. As part of an ongoing classroom assignment, preservice teachers were instructed to add bookmarks to their account, using pre determined categories, over the span of ten weeks. During this time, the instructor noted that although the number of logins to the bookmarking site increased the day before class met, the total number of logins decreased weekly (Abbitt, 2009). One possibl e reason for the decrease could be attributed to the fact that preservice teachers were not allowed to select their own categories and thus did not claim ownership of the bookmarks they were submitting.
55 Social n etworking Meanwhile, s everal studies have bee n conducted on the use of Facebook as a component of the class room, each with similar results In setting s where students used Facebook as an assigned activity for class, they reported an increase in their confidence level, more motivation to participate, and a positive attitude toward sharing information. They also mentioned that the use of Facebook helped to create a less restrictive learning environment ( Hoban, Loughran, & Nielsen, 2011; Lin, 2011; Roblyer et al., 2010; Warschauer, 2009 ). When teachers a nd students involved in a Spanish language project using Facebook were questioned about what could be done differently, they recognized the need to make more use of the multimedia options that are now part of the Facebook platform (Terantino & Graf, 2012) Content s haring Podcasting and digital video have also been seen to engage learners in higher education classrooms. However, the majority of research conducted on the use of podcasts in the classroom indicates that instructors have not taken advantage of the social media characteristics, such as student creativity and collaboration. Rather, these studies found that podcasts are more often used as an alternative form of delivery for traditional classroom lectures (Lonn and Teasley, 2009 ; Walls, Ku csera, et al, 2012). Other research has delved into the use of student created video in the classroom. Results of these studies indicate that students viewed the assignments as meaningful, were more engaged in learning, and perceived that learning as a de eper experience (Gehringer & Miller, 2009 ; Greene & Crespi, 2012 ), confirming the participatory nature of the experience.
56 Virtual w orlds Few studies exist that sought to engage preservice teachers in learning through non instructional virtual worlds. The v irtual world Second Life was used with first year preservice teachers in Australia to gain insight into the use of virtual worlds for learning. Preservice teachers were engaged in face to face learning for one module of a workshop and then participated in learning through the virtual world for an additional module. Course designers prepared the virtual world environment with a classroom, playground, library, and other spaces related to school settings. Students were observed in both learning situations and were requested to complete a survey following each. Responses regarding learning and engagement were similar for each setting. However, due to the perceived level of difficulty navigating in the virtual world, investigators determined that more scaffoldin g was needed in how to travel through the virtual world setting (Gregory & Masters, 2010). Summary of formal learning studies Many of the examples of social media used in formal classroom experiences cited the use of different tools for doing previously e xisting types of traditional activities. For example, the use of blogs for reflection simply transferred student journaling to the computer. Also, the way students contributed bookmarks to categories already defined dvantage of the ability to access the account from multiple locations at multiple times, turned the assignment into the mere creation of an online database. Using social media tools in these ways negate the collaborative components that are strengths of so cial media. Although using wikis for language acquisition had the potential to provide students with a unique way to engage in learning, a student focus on form instead of
57 content weakened student engagement. The use of Second Life as a virtual classroom prevented some learners from engaging with the content due to their lack of familiarity with the use of avatars in the virtual world. Each of these ideas held the promise of transforming the learning experience for students and instructors. Unfortunately, the lack of experience with the social media and the lack of scaffolding in the new environment prevented the assignments from becoming as powerful as once thought. The sharing of digital video increased in power when students were allowed to create and co llaborate together. The classroom infusion of the use of Facebook as a the amount of motivation learners felt to visit with others on the social network. However, the main success of the project was due to the fact that they became engaged in the learning experience. This engagement was attributable to student familiarity with the learning environment as well as the fact that it presented them with the opportunity to c ontinue their learning outside of the classroom environment by become engaged in dialogue through Facebook. Social media helps to support student engagement in learning if the activity is designed correctly. As with any activity brought into the classroom, the instructor must make sure that the capabilities of the tools match with the goals of the assignment. These examples of formal learning and how students were motivated to continue using the tools for communication and collaboration outside of the class room also serve to confirm the need for studies of preservice teachers informal use of social media.
58 Conclusion Not only do students desire continual access to each other, they are also beginning to demand the same from their instructors. On the other side of the spectrum, they continue to take advantage of social networks for personal use, but they still claim to want to keep their academic li ves separate. As these lives grow closer together, however, student engagement in informal settings will continue t o be aided by social media. The exploration of different forms of social media, computer use in K 12 classrooms, and expectations for 21 st c entury s tudents and teachers provide a basis for further examination of preservice e of social media. Further, the lack of studies specifically highlighting preservice social media to engage in learning further establishes the need for the current study that asks elementary preservice teachers to describe their use of social media.
59 CHAPTER 3 DESIGN OF THE STUDY This purpose of this study was to find out how elementary preservice teachers describe their use of social media of significance because of the expectation for teachers to use social media in their classrooms and the need for teacher education programs to help equip them to do so. By learning how preservice teachers are already using social media and for what purposes, this study will help contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding the use of soc ial media in the classroom. This chapter will look first at the p ilot s tudy and the lessons learned that contributed to the design of the present research A review of the pilot study is followed by an examination of the current study, including the theor etical perspective, context, participants, and the methods of data collection and analysis This first portion is followed by a discussion of the validity and reliability of the study, and concludes with a look at potential limitations and ethical consider ations associated with the study. Description of Pilot Study This section describe s how the Pilot Study was conducted and the participants that were involved followed by a discussion of the results obtained It concludes with a look at the lessons learned from the pilot and how those lessons influenced the present Purpose and Design of Pilot Study During the semester prior to the start of the current research study, a pilot study was conducted with 18 elementary preservice teachers enrolled in a technology integration course at a large public university in the southeastern United States The question posed for the pilot H ow are elementary preservice teachers using
60 the span of two days, students were asked to respond to hourly text message prompts that asked if they were using social media, what they were using, and their purpose for using it. There were a total of 864 text messages sent to the students involved in t he study. Due to constraints associated with text messaging plans, and my desire to not eliminate anyone from participating, two students chose to participate by email. I used Gmail and the email scheduling program Boomerang to send messages and organiz e responses. Using Gmail enabled me to create folders for each student and set up filters so that received messages would go directly into that folder without cluttering up the Inbox. This design simplified the process of recording information for each indiv idual student and allowed the creation of a complete archive of data Results of Pilot Study While students were encouraged to give detailed descriptions about what they were doing, fewer than 10 percent of responses were longer than one word. Of the 864 t otal inquiries sent, there were 533 total responses received. The number of responses from any given individual ranged from as few as 23 to as many as 49, but the number of responses that indicated any use of social media at the time they received the mess age ranged from 3 to 13, for a total of 103 confirmations that various social media were being used Fifty of the 103 responses indicated that the student was on Facebook, and another 39 responses indicated the use of either Pinterest or Twitter. O nly 14 o f the 103 linked to one of these three applications. Lessons Learned from the Pilot Study The lessons gleaned from the pilot s tudy greatly informed the design of the full research study First, it was encouraging that over 60% of the inqu iries received a
61 response. Although 80% of the responses received were counted as empty data sets, the technologies being used were in fact working as expected For example, each participant was asked for their cell phone number and the name of their mobil e provider to ensure that email messages could be sent as a text message. When email s were received via cell phone as a text message, students simply had to reply as they normally would when texting Aside from the positive outcomes yielded by the pilot t here were several results that served to reshape my approach to the full study One of the most disappointing results was the lack of detailed information in the text responses. In order for a qualitative study to be able to tell a story, there needs to be a sufficient supply of data from which to interpret However, the short one or two word responses prevented the formulation of a narrative to explain why students were doing what they were doing with social media. In the end, three lessons presented them selves : 1. Study participants needed to understand the value of their participation in the study. 2. The need for detailed explanations was mission critical. 3. There needed to be way to gather more information than text messaging itself could provide. Since t he aim was to get a sense of what participants were doing with social media in context (i.e., while they were using it) I still regarded the hourly text messages as an optimal way of acquiring this information. However, to gather enough descriptive data t o inform a qualitative narrative I needed a way to ask questions about some of the student responses. The addition of an interview component to the design of the research study seemed to address this concern.
62 How the Design of the Current Study Evolved Go od research, whether it is quantitative or qualitative, starts with a plan for discovering information. The design of this plan is governed by the ontology of what can be defined as truth, or reality, for the researcher conducting the study. The knowing of this truth and how meaning is made are referred to as the epistemological stance. Those who approach research from an objective perspective believe that there is an absolute truth and meaning and that this truth is the same for everyone. For the most part researchers will use a quantitative approach to analysis. Qualitative researchers, on the other hand, see truth as something that is malleable and changes with each individual. The two epistemological stances most often associated with qualitative resear ch are constructionism and subjectivism. In constructionism, truth is dependent upon how each individual constructs meaning with the unique phenomena they are confronted with. For subjectivism, an individual assigns meaning to an object, rather than create meaning with an object. This study design followed the suggested guidelines of Michael Crotty as described in the 1998 edition of The Foundations of Social Research H e presents four questions as the basis of any type of research, be it is qualitative or quantitative: What methods are proposed for use? What methodology governs the choice and use of methods? What theoretical perspective lies behind the methodology in question? What epistemology informs this theoretical perspective? Finding the Appropriate Epistemological Stance The goal of this study is to find out how elementary preservice teachers describe their use of social media, so constructionism will be the epistemological stance that guides this study as it is best suited to help determine how th e stories are told. Each
63 individual will have the opportunity to tell their own story about different types of social media and how they interact with them. These individual descriptions will include information about how the social media came to have a sp ecific meaning for them, not just what the meaning is. From a Theoretical Perspective of Constructivism A theoretical perspective of constructivism asserts that there is no absolute meaning or truth and that each person will construct their own meanings in different ways, based upon his or her background and previous interactions with the object. Meaning depends on what the person is thinking about it and what their experience with the object has been. I heard a story several years ago about the use of the word a bystander use to help clean it up? If they thought the coffee had already been brewed, they would choose a mop or sponge or something that would absorb liquid. If their perception was that the grounds had spilled onto the floor, they would conclude that a brush and dust pan was called for However, if they thought it was a barrel of coffee beans that had spille d, they would take a shovel with them varying experiences of each person cause the meaning making process to be different for each of us According to Crotty constructivism is focused on making 1998, p. 58). Reality changes for each individual and there is no truth except the one that is created by each person at a given moment In other words meaning or truth only exists when it is acted upon by an individual.
64 Early b eginnings of c onstructivism The basic tenets of constructivism were first introduced by Giambattista Vico in 1710 (Miner, 1998; Kang, Choi & Chang, 2007). In his 1710 treatise, De antiquissima Italorum sapientia ( On the Ancient Wisd om of the Italians ) Vico argued that along with his Scienza Nuova in 1725, was a response to the Cartesian idea that all truth was discovered through observation For Vico, it was important to note that truth arguing that truth could not be taught, but must be constructed. Kant took it further than Vico and placed the emphasis on the cognitive structures with which a given person was born. In addition, the Kantian form of constructivism purports that individuals must come to some agreement based on what are seen as rational and reasonable principles (Rawls, 1980). Modern era const ructivism Jean Piaget is widely considered to be the leader of the modern constructivist movement. According to him, all learning is based upon experience. Piaget is most noted for his stages of development yet it is his study of cognitive development t hat has most influenced constructivism. It is important to note that for Piaget, cognitive constructivism is a learning theory and not a teaching theory. There are other scholars who relate constructivism to teaching, and more specifically to a hands on ap proach to what is important is that the learner is making sense of things on his or her own, based upon his or her own previous, personal experiences (Piaget, 1962)
65 The work of von Glasersfeld closely follows known as radical constructivism. With von Glasersfeld, knowledge is still constructed by the individual, but reality lies within, not outside of, each individual. According to Davi d Jonassen, a prominent figure in educational technology and constructivism conceive of the external reality somewhat differently, based on our unique set of 2000, p 10). His belief that lea rning must be situated in authentic tasks is applied to the use of technology in learning, and more directly, to instructional design. Piaget uses the terms assimilation and accommodation to describe how the learner makes sense of new experiences in a cog assimilation and accommodation were based upon his personal observation of his own children. When a person encounters new objects and tries to make them fit into their own environment based upon pre existing interaction s with other objects, this is called assimilation. On the other hand, when a person attempts to change their environment to encompass the new object, Piaget considered it accommodation. The experiences a person has is what enable him or her to create menta l models, or schemas. The schemas of each individual are subject to changing, growing, and even becoming more complex structures based upon how a person processes information within that schema. For Piaget, constructivism is less of an instructional strate gy and more about how meaning is made by the individual. In this way, it allows the focus of the research to about social media, what matters is what they discover about it and how they make sense of it for themselves. Therefore, the use of a constructivist theoretical perspective
66 helps provide the perfect setting for discovering what the use of social media is like for each individual. Study Participants Determining Type of Sample Needed Since one of the goals of qualitative inquiry is to provide a rich narrative description, participant selection differs from that of quantitative research studies that require a larger audience and a broader scope. Therefore, recruitment of study participants took the form of purposeful sampling. A purposeful sample was used to ensure that study participants would be able to provide rich information related to the topic that would help tell their stories. This approach is in agreement with observation that 2000, p 176). According to Patton (1990), there are fifteen different types of purposeful sampling methods that can be useful in selecting which population to study. In this criterion sample, specifying that the participants would be elementary preservice teachers also cast it as a homogenous purposeful sample. It was homogenous because it was not merely people who were us ing social media and university students who were engaged with social media, but also the distinct population of elementary preservice teachers. This layering helped ensure that the participants had personal experience with social media. Therefore, part of the criteria for selection was that the students must have completed two technology courses required for elementary teacher education majors. The first class was a skills based course and the second focused on technology integration in the elementary clas sroom. Both curricul a included social media components. Since they had all completed the required technology courses, it could be
67 safely assumed that they had experience with a variety of social media resources. Another important criterion for participant selection was the regular use of social media, whether it was for formal or informal use. Recruitment Procedures A recruitment email was sent to 189 students, 187 females and 2 males, who had completed both courses and were still enrolled in the elementary education program. (See Appendix A for a copy of the recruitment email.) Out of these, 16 students expressed interest in participating in the study and were sent a brief survey asking about the types of social media they regularly used. Once the surveys w ere completed and returned, the information was compiled and ten elementary preservice teachers were identified as part of the purposeful sample based on their self reported use of multiple social media tools. Participants identified as part of the purpos eful sample were sent invitations to an information al meeting by way of an online scheduling program. By virtue of the fact that the online program allowed each participant to see other responses and reply to them, the scheduling program was also a form of social media. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the expectation of responsibilities during their participation in the study. (See Appendix B for a copy of the meeting agenda.) At the meeting, the informed consent, as well as the purpose, design, a nd anticipated timeline of the study were explained presented. In addition, the need for them to give detailed responses (the key shortcoming of the pilot) was stressed as being critical to the success of the study. The process of selecting key informants for the interviews was described. Finally, the study participants learned that each of them would receive a $30 Amazon gift card after all of the interviews were completed. In addition, they were told that the receipt of the gift card
68 would not be dependen t on whether or not they were selected for an interview as a key informant Participants were given the opportunity to ask questions during the meeting. One attendee wanted to know what sorts of things might or might not be viewed as social media. In respo nse, students were encouraged to include anything in their text message responses that they considered as social media. I explained that since this was a constructivist study that relied on their own description of what they believe d to be social media, it was important that they understood that there was no right or wrong answer. They were encourage d to give detailed information about what they thought and not worry about whether someone else was using the same definition as they were. From this informatio n session, the eight participants who continued to express an interest in participating in the study were selected. Description of Participants The study sample was comprised of elementary education students in the final phase of their studies at a large u niversity in the southeastern United States. These teacher education students enter the five year Elementary PROfessional TEACHer program during their junior year at the university. This program is designed so that students can complete both a Bachelor's a nd a Master's degree. Students who do not (but no certification ) or they may separately complete the certification program as post baccalaureate students. During the fourth year of their studie s, each elementary education major is placed in a pre internship which involves co teaching with another student for 16 hours a week for one semester. Students who continue into the Master s program spend one semester
69 enrolled in a full time internship. Bo th the pre internship and the internship placements are in the classroom of a certified elementary teacher. There were eight participants enrolled in the study, seven females and one male. All students in the sample population indicated that they used betw een four and eleven different types of social media tools. Each participant was between the ages of 21 and 24 and seven of them were pursuing their Master of Arts in Education, leading to certification T he eighth student was scheduled to graduate at the e nd of the semester in which the study was conducted with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and was not Each of the participants had been at the same university for their entire undergraduate career. In addition to the one student leaving the program after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Education, there were two students ee at the end of the following semester, and three students who were just beginning their graduate level studies. Data Collection I employed several complementary ways of gathering information from the study participants about their use of social media F irst, they all complete d a short survey at the beginning of the study listing the types of social media they considered themselves to be using. Next, a variation of the Experience Sampling Method ( Csikszentmihaly & Hunter 2003) was used to solicit real ti me information through the use of text messages. The text messages were analyzed and the results of the analysis were used to help identify the key informants. Finally, those study participants identified as key informants were invited to participate in a semi structured interview designed to provide
70 deeper insight to specific uses of social media that were reported during the real time collection of data. I will now turn my attention toward describing each of these methods in detail. Introductory Survey In order to make sure that participants were actually using different types of social media, the first method took the form of a survey seeking information about the types of social media they thought they were using on a regular basis. An open ended survey was utilized in order to refrain from limiting student responses The results of the survey were used to ensure that several different types of social media would be included The Experience Sampling Method The d ata from the real time use of text messages was collected across a period of two weeks using a variation of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). This method provided a systematic way to collect information about what the participants were doing with social media at a specific time as well as infor mation about their intended purpose. The ESM was originally created as a way to measure emotions, specifically happiness, at various times of the day (Csikszentmihalyi et al.,1977; Csikszentmihalyi and Schneider, 2001; Kubey et al., 1996). Since then, t he ESM has evolved as a way for qualitative researchers to collect data about both content and context in different discipline s (Koro Hale, 2008). The main characteristic of ESM is that it is a vehicle through which information can be collected as events occur in everyday lived experience (Christensen, Barrett, Bliss Moreau, Lebo & Kaschub, 2003).
71 The Experience Sampling Method has traditionally used electronic devices, such as beepers, to signal participants when a response was needed, thus providing a way for participants to be involved in the data gathering. In addition, it removes the potential pitfalls of relying on memory during data collection by way of interviews. The present study made use of a combination of text messaging and email. When participants were initially solicited, they were asked if they had an unlimited text messaging plan. If they did not have such a plan, they would have been reimbursed for the incurred cost (As it turned out, all participant s had unlimited texting.) Participants were asked to leave their phone s on throughout the active daily periods of the study, but were encouraged to make use of the vibration function when they were in quiet settings or group settings Recognizing that coll all maintain the same sleep, work, or study schedules, I decided to send text messages every hour as a checkpoint for their social media use. Based on this information, email requests were set up in advance to send text messages to parti the times in advance was to ensure that requests would be consistent for all participants. Based on lessons drawn from the Pilot Study ( in which there was very little social media use noted ) parti cipants were asked about their use of social media not only at the time they received the text message, but also within the past 15 minutes prior to receiving the text. The inquiry text s asked participants to respond to three prompts based upon the time of the text message: a) W ere they using a form of social media? b) If so, what social media tool were they using? and c) What were they doing with social media? Specific examples of the inquiry texts sent to students included : If you are using social media n ow, or have been using it during the last 15 minutes, tell me what social media tool you are using. What are you doing? Was
72 it required for a class? If you aren't using social media now, simply res pond with What have you done with soc ial media lately? Please tell me about it. Thanks! D uring the collection of text message responses, a log was created to show which messages received responses from which participants, as well as what the responses were (See Appendix C for a copy of the r esponse log ). D ue to the auto correct feature of most cell phone messaging programs, I sent each participant a copy of their log sheet weekly to make sure that the information I received was what they intended and followed it up with a phone call. (See App endix D for a copy of the phone call protocol.) Key Informant Selection for Semi structured Interviews use of social media within the actual context of use. One of the main uses of the text messages was to help identify key informants to engage in personal interviews. within a society, are able to provide more information and a deeper insigh t into what is 92). As described by Tremblay (1957), there are five criteria to be used in the selection of key informants: Role in the community is the informant exposed to the kind of information being sought? Knowledge in addition to being exposed to the information, has the informant been able to make meaning from it? Willingness is the informant willing to share information and cooperate with the researcher? Communicability can the informant clearly communicate in terms the researcher can understand? Impartiality is the informant free from personal bias, and if bias is present, is it acknowledged to the researcher?
73 Once all of the text messaging data had been logged, four key informants were identified and each one was invited to an individual semi stru ctured interview (See Appendix E for a copy of the semi structured interview questions). The semi structured formulaic, and that the most important component of any interview is listening (2008). Each in depth interview was based on information received from text messages and the desire of the researcher to learn more about the story that began to emerge from each participant. Descript ions of k ey i nformants Of the eight subjects who participated in both the introductory training session and the text messaging portion of data collection, four were identified as key informants and selected for individual interviews. The key informants wer e selected based upon their self reported use of social media in the text messages, their availability, and their ability to articulate what they were doing. The participants selected for individual interviews were Cassie Heather Yazmin and Laura Cassi e During the semester of data collection, Cassie was a 23 year old Master of Education student scheduled to graduate at the end of the upcoming semester. She had been enrolled at the same university for all five years of her coursework, and was beginning to send out job applications. Cassie was specializing in interdisciplinary studies and had already completed her internship in an elementary classroom. She was currently enrolled in three online courses using Moodle as the Course Management System, and was scheduled to take three traditional courses during the following semester. In addition to the fact that her text messages contained a great deal of
74 information, Cassie was selected as a key informant because of the in depth ways she used social media. He ather Heather had already completed all of the coursework required for graduation and was involved in her full time internship in a mixed k indergarten, f irst, and s econd grade classroom. She was also preparing for her wedding and the possibility of moving to Heather had been enrolled at the university for all five years and had served as a student officer of the College of Education Council during part of that time. Heather xt messaging portion of the data collection. Her unusual experiences, as well as her ability to give complete and informative answers, were a major factor in her selection as a key informant. Yazmin Although Yazmin was going through the College of Educatio n as an Elementary Education major, her main interest was in Special Education. In fact, during the time of the study, she was completing her full time internship in a secondary special education classroom. Prior to attending the university, Yazmin was a d ual enrollment student at her local community college during high school and returned to the same community college each summer to complete the courses needed for her math requirement. Yazmin was scheduled to graduate at the end of the semester, was planni ng her wedding and applying for teaching jobs. Her selection as a key informant was based on her personal involvement with blogging and the many different times it was mentioned in her text message responses.
75 Laura Of the four participants identified as k ey informants, Laura was the only who had not yet had any experience with a full time internship. Laura was a 22 year old senior she had been at the university for all fo ur years of her studies, she was preparing to return home to live with her parents during her year long internship. The difference in where she was in the program, along with the variety of social media tools she described using in her text messages, were contributing factors to Laura a key informant. Data Analysis Approaches Data analysis was ongoing, beginning with the first stage of data collection. Stage one involved the analysis of the introductory survey. During the second stage I cond ucted a content analysis of the text messages received. The stage three analysis was based on the Zoom Model of Barbara Pamphilon (1999). Each methodology used allowed me to look at different data in different ways. Content Analysis The use of content anal ysis as a methodology has been primarily utilized as a tool in quantitative research, but has more recently been embraced by members of the qualitative community (Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009). In quantitative research, content analysis is used to test specific theories or hypotheses that the researcher has proposed; whereas in qualitative research, content analysis is fully grounded in the topics and themes that may emerge from the data. The use of content analysis allowed me to identify common themes and then to use those themes to help construct a rich
76 description (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Geertz, 1973) of preservice media. There are several different methods of content analysis recommended for use in qualitative research (Hsieh & Shann on, 2006; Morgan, 1993; Neuendorf, 2002; White & Marsh, 2006). In order to search for recurring themes and patterns of use, a summative content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) of the text message log was conducted. A summative content analysis draws thema tic information from the data in order to develop a coding schematic and to help form a more complete picture of the engage in counting the number of times specific themes occu rred to gain an idea of how often specific types of social media were being used ( and for what reasons ) and to examine patterns across texts from individuals. In addition to allowing me as the researcher to uncover the various meanings behind the text mess ages, the use of a summative content analysis also allowed me to develop interpretations of patterns that began to emerge from the data. A summative content analysis begins just as any other content analysis w ith the definition of categories, an outline of the coding process and coder training, implementing the coding process, and then determining trustworthiness p rior to analyzing the results of the coding process (Kaid, 1989). The differences in approach for the summative content analysis are evident in how the keywords are selected. The keywords are determined prior to examining the data and are determined by the researcher. Different keywords may be added by the researcher during the study based
77 on other themes that may emerge (Hsie h & Shannon, 2005 ). See Figure 3 1 for an outline of the summative content analysis approach. Figure 3 1. S ummative approach to qualitative content a nalysis Zoom Model this method allowed the res earcher to see the life stories from varied perspectives. Pamphilon used the analogy of a camera lens to illustrate her use of the Z oom M odel (1999). If you are looking through a camera lens at a colorful pattern, you may not be able to identify it until t he camera zooms out and you recognize you have been looking at a beautiful monarch butterfly. The beauty you see may then be skewed if the camera zooms out even more and you see that the butterfly is attracted by the smell of a piece of rotting fruit that is lying on the ground. This perspective could then change again into a breathtaking view if you zoom out even more and are surrounded by the beauty of a fruit orchard with trees full of colorful fruit. The use of the Zoom Model allows the story
78 to be told from multiple perspectives: macro zoom, meso zoom, micro zoom, and interactional zoom. The macro zoom level takes into account the types of dominant discourses, Th e dominant discourse looks at who they view themselves as at any given point of their story. Keeping in mind that this study is looking at descriptions of social media, this view can be ever changing. The narrative form examined in the macro zoom level loo ks at how this view of self fits into society as a whole. To take it even further, the cohort effect looks at changes that occur as a result of where they are in life, and the changes that are happening both around and within them. The meso zoom lens looks more at the structure of the story; the narrative process, narrative themes, and key phrases. Does the narrative process of their story flow, or do they get stuck in the telling of it? The narrative themes may be shaped by how far away they are from the e vent they are re telling. What does their word choice say about their perception of the length of an event? It could be as simple as looking at the length of a semester project as interminably long if it is currently happening. Key phrases are also importa nt from the meso zoom perspective. They help to see how the storyteller sees his or her own importance in the story. What about the use of first person or third person? If they are engaged in a classroom practicum, do they view the students as their own, o r as belonging to the classroom teacher or do they look at them as shared? It is also important when viewing a story through the meso zoom lens to pay attention to the parts of the story that are NOT being told i.e., what is missing? The micro zoom leve l pays more attention to the actual speech and discursive patterns of
79 the story: the stops, starts, or pauses; the emotion that is present; and how an individual makes his or her story come to life. One of the strengths of using the zoom model for this res earcher is that it effectively undertaken a phenomenological study, I knew how hard it was to try to completely remove any of my own subjectivity from the story. In this case, since I h ad been the instructor for the technology integration course that all of the participants had taken, I was responsible for introducing them to a variety of social media tools, and had helped to shape their definition of social media. Having already engaged in social media use with the students, it would hardly have made sense to pretend I was a stranger to them. Therefore, the interactional zoom lens allowed me to honor the pre existing relationship I already had with the students while also acknowledging h ow that relationship had the potential to help share their story. Background and Role of Researcher In any qualitative study, it is important to know the background of the researcher. As the director of this study, I have had the advantage of being able to view the issue of classroom technology integration from several different perspectives. Having taught in the public school system for over 13 years, I had the opportunity to observe the implementation of many new ideas, both technology and non technology related. These i quality of instruction designed for students. In addition, I was able to see elementary
80 teachers of varying degrees of experience respond to these ideas and try to incorporat e them in their classroom s The area that became the most interesting to me was the use of technology in schools and subsequently in the classroom, in order to enhance instruction. I became involved in planning and teaching professional development sessio ns to classroom teachers on the topic of classroom technology integration. O nce I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Educational Technology, I was afforded the opportunity to help develop and teach courses for elementary and early childhood teacher education st udents on the topic of classroom technology integration. Other experiences contributing to the various perspectives include presentations at a variety of state and national conferences. I came to the study having already established a relationship with ea ch of the participants based upon their completion of a course that I taught on integrating technology in the elementary classroom. The potential of using social media in the classroom was a major topic during the course so I knew that each of the partici pants had already been exposed to a variety of social media tools in the context of using them to enhance classroom instruction. In recognition of the ever changing landscape of social media, I included additional social media components in the course duri ng the revision stage prior to each semester. I use social media in my personal life and in my academic life as a student to assist with my research I also require different uses of it for the students in my courses. Validity and Reliability Whether condu cting a qualitative or quantitative study, all researchers must maintain a level of rigor in order to establish the trust of others in their results. Validity and reliability are familiar terms to quantitative researchers whose studies depend on
81 measuremen t. Validity is defined in the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing 9). Reliability considers whether or not t he instrument is consistent in measuring what it is supposed to (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). V alidity looks at any errors that occur systemically while reliability is concerned with random errors of measurement. Those engaged in qualitative inquiry are just as concerned with the rigorousness of their studies as quantitative researchers. However, in the absence of an instrument of measurement other than the researcher, a different way of ensuring rigor is needed. Determining Trustworthiness As stated ea rlier, a main consideration for any researcher is that others can trust their results. Beginning in 1981, Egon Guba and Yvonne Lincoln looked in depth at the issue of trustworthiness in naturalistic inquiry. At that time, they determined that rather than validity and reliability the more appropriate terms for qualitative research were credibility, fittingness, auditability, and confirmability (p. 104). Through their continued commitment to rigorousness, these terms evolved into credibility, applicability, consistency, and neutrality (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). In addition, they recommended the following activities that qualitative researchers should use to make sure they meet the suggested criteria: 1. Credibility a) In field activities that increase the probabili ty of high credibility, such as prolonged engagement, persistent observation, and triangulation of sources, methods, and investigators b) Peer debriefing c) Negative case analysis
82 d) Referential adequacy e) Member checks (during study and at completion) 2. Transferabilit y needs thick description 3. Dependability use of dependability audit and audit trail 4. Confirmability use of confirmability audit and audit trail 5. All criteria investigator reflexive journal (p. 328) Comparative Views of Establishing Rigor in Qualitativ e Research Over the past quarter of a century, the suggestions of Lincoln and Guba became the underlying standard for most qualitative research. With few exceptions, researchers undertaking qualitative studies ( Allen, 2008; Bradshaw, 2010; Draper, 2011; Kr amer, 2009; Pascarella 2009; Sesterhenn, 2012 ), as well as many texts on the art of conducting qualitative research (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002; Atkinson & Hammersley, 1983; Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009; Wolcott, 1984 ) applied Lincoln and accepted as empirical research. In this way, qualitative research has attempted to remove the fallibility of the human as researcher or subject. In my opinion, however, this very f allibility adds depth and meaning to qualitative research that allows for the thick, rich description that Geertz touts (1973) Dialogue has begun among scholars in the field of qualitative research who wish to see greater emphasis on inclusion and the process of validation, as opposed to the current model of dualism and exclusion (Angen, 2000; Koro Ljungberg, 2008; Stige, Malterud, Midtgarden, 2009; Thayer Bacon, 2003 ). Current models of validity constru cts in the qualitative paradigm are intended t o h elp prove q ualitative versions of validity. However, they become constraints of the making of meaning that exists between the
83 subject and the researcher. Instead, more effort must be made to find less restrictive ways of investigating realities as well as how knowledge is created. One such innovative example was exhibited by Szto, Furnam, and Langer when they allowed their dialogue about the making of meaning and creativity in the arts to be analyzed as a data 200 3). It is hoped that the 2013 revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing will make more of a distinction between the quantitative and qualitative approaches to validity and credibility. Throughout the course of this constructivist study, I have attempted to show respect both for the subject and for the story being told. R ecognizing the construction and simultaneous existence of multiple realities for each individual, I carefully selected methods of data collection and analysis In t he end, I chose techniques that would allow the story, or stories, to emerge within and through as individuals and between them and myself as the researcher. I provided ways within the study to allow not only for the were feeling and thinking with regard to their interaction with social media, but also for them to be able to voice why they were feeling, thinking, and responding as they were. It should be enough for me to illustrate how the subjects described their own actions, thoughts, and meanings and my own interpretations of those within the context of this study It should also suffice to allow each voice to emerge as having meaning. In addition, I have a responsibility to my subjects as individuals and to myself as a researcher to remain engaged with each other when (not if) other points of focus arise during our collaboration. However, if I as a novice researcher do not specifically conform to the expected activities for establishing credibility, transferability,
84 dependability, and confirmability, I may be labeled as one who does not respect the tradition of qualitative research and even more, does not produce research that is rigorous or viewed as trustworthy. The demands of established tradition seem to disrega rd the individual and their stories when they require me to include reference to the specific activities of source and method triangulation, member checking, and the keeping of a clear audit trail. I am compelled to describe the types of source triangulati on included : the introductory survey, the use of the Experience Sampling Method to collect text messages, and conducting semi structured interviews with the key informants. Tradition pressures me to list the types of method triangulation that were present in my study: those of content analysis of the survey and a summative content analysis of the text messages, and the Zoom Model analysis of the individual interviews. I am challenged to describe the member checking process that was included as part of my st udy, and to describe how I sent a copy of the text messaging log to the participants at the middle and end points of data collection to make sure that text s to email w ere received correctly. The emphasis of the study becomes more on me as the researcher wh en I am required to explain that due to the auto correct feature of most cell phone text messaging programs, it was important to make sure that what was received was actually the intended message. By including a discussion of how I communicated with the p articipants during the two weeks of text messaging to make sure they were comfortable with the data collection process, I have diluted the emphasis on the personal relationship that was created and substituted in its place a mere exercise to meet a require ment. T he reasons for keeping data logs and wanting to personally transcribe audio tapes of interviews
85 becomes lost if I have to go through a lengthy explanation of exactly what took place. A comparison of foci in the traditional and more contemporary appr oaches to establishing trustworthiness in this qualitative study is shown in Table 3 1. Table 3 1 Comparison of rigor and trustworthiness a pproaches to q ualitative r esearch Traditional View Occurrence in Study New Viewpoint Wavering, undecided Willingnes s/openness to change in direction; description of issues brought into focus by subjects Responsibility to the unknown (Koro Ljungberg, 2010) Source triangulation Using different types of data collection: i ntroductory survey ; Experience Sampling Method t o collect text message data ; s emi structured interviews with key informants Responsible decision making, for the selection of methods appropriate to this study Method triangulation Different methods of analysis: s urvey ; c ontent analysis ; Zoom Method Sel ection of methods which allowed the story to be told by participants Member checking Requesting subjects to look at transcripts from data collection to confirm information was stated as they intended Giving voice to the participants in the making of mean ing Establishing a clear audit trail Q uality record keeping ; Following established protocols for IRB ; o rganization of emails and text messages Respect for subjects Clear ending of study with distributed findings Findings and implication for future pract ice and research Open ended relationship with subject and data for construction of new knowledge (Koro Ljungberg, 2010, p 605); acknowledging written findings as belonging in specific time and place, not definitive for all time Instead of having to incl ude specific components so that I may check them off a list, or
86 integrity and voice of the individual. It is easy to see that although both traditional and more contemp orary approaches to qualitative research place a strong emphasis on rigor and trustworthiness, they do not use the same path. The significance of being open to new directions is illustrated in the more contemporary approach by recognizing that the cultivat ion of an open ended relationship between the researcher and subject may add to the continued construction of new knowledge. Limitations and Ethical Considerations Regardless of how much care is given to the design and implementation of any research stud y, there will be limitations and ethical considerations. One possible limitation of the study is that the previously established relationship between the researcher and the participants could be perceived as having a power differential since the participan ts were former students of the researcher. However, since the participants have already completed the class, the power differential of those relationship s has been mitigated Also, the selection of the Zoom Model of analysis with the interactional zoom len s helps the already established relationship become a strength. The time frame of the study (i.e. sending a text message every hour for two weeks) was another potential limitation for two reasons: due to sleep patterns, not al l inquiries received a respon se; and the receipt of fewer text message responses during the last three days of the study could be a result of participant fatigue. Although very little literature exists on the issue rsonality surveys determined that shorter surveys could actually be better because of subject fatigue. An additional limitation regarding the text messaging was that there were occasions when text requests provided empty data sets because there were no par ticipants using social
87 media at the time. However, the ability to have around the clock access to the participants was deemed to outweigh the possible limitations. An unanticipated limitation of the study was that while each participant met the criteria o f being in the same teacher education program ( and had completed the two required technology courses ) they were nevertheless at different stages of the program. Some of the students had already completed their full time internship, others were engaged in t heir internship during the study, and other s had not yet begun their internship experience. This discrepancy meant that not all participants had the same opportunities for informal, academic learning during the study. So that there would be no perception o f unethical behavior, no mention of the study was made the previous semester while students were enrolled in the class with the researcher as the instructor. Other ethical considerations included the need to protect the personal data of each participant, w hich I also viewed as a matter of respecting the participants. Conclusion Chapter 1 identifie d the need to study how elementary preservice teachers describe their use of social media Chapter 2 support ed the topic by providin g a review of relevant literature. Chapter 3 has helped to describe the overall design of the current research study, including the participants involved. Chapter 4 will provide a detailed content analysis of the Introductory Survey and text messages Chap ter 5 presents a Z oom Method analysis of the semi structured interviews conducted with the key informants Finally, Chapter 6 looks at what the data has taught us and how it can help contribute to the field of teacher education in the future.
88 CHAPTER 4 CO NTENT ANALYSIS FOR SURVEY AND TEXT MESSAGES The purpose of this study was to describe elementary preservice descriptions of their use of social media. Since this was a qualitative study, participants were encouraged to report all types of social media use they were engaged in, whether it was for personal use, informal educational use what they used for education by their own choice, or formal educational use what their instructor required them to use. The purpose of this chapter is to provide the results of data analysis for the preliminary survey and hourly text messaging that took place over the span of two weeks. The analysis of individual interviews with key informants, as determined by the text messages, will be explained in Chapter 5 Results of Introductory Survey As described in Chapter 3 participants who responded to the recruitment email (Appendix A) and listed the most uses of social media on the introductory survey (see Table 4 1 ) were invited to attend an information meeting to learn m ore details of the study. Soliciting information through the use of a survey regarding the types of social media they regularly engaged in made it possible to identify a purposeful sample of participants. As seen in Table 4 1 all participants listed the use of Facebook and Pinterest. This was not an unexpected occurrence since participants in the Pilot Study also reported a high use of Facebook and Pinterest. In addition, all but two of the participants indicated on their completed survey that they used G oogle Docs on a regular basis. The social media tool with the next highest use reported was Twitter. It is interesting to note that during the course in Technology Integration in the Classroom, students had been
89 required to use both Google Docs and Twitter to complete individual assignments T hey were also required to keep a blog during the semester. In addition, the individual College of Education cohort groups had their own Facebook Group page for sharing of information. Although the different application student use of the technology tool after the class was completed. For example, while five participants stated they were using Google Docs during the survey and four were using Twitter, there were only two that indi cated they were using a blog. Table 4 1. Social m edia t ools u sed by p articipants (as reported in introductory survey) Form of Social Media Participant #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Blog Delicious Diigo Edmodo Facebook Facetime Google Docs Moodle Discussion Boards Pinterest Skype Spotify Tumblr Twitt er Urbans poon Wikipedia Wordpress Words With Friends YouTube TOTAL = 18 Unique Types of Social Media 5 4 8 5 4 11 5 5
90 Survey Data Explained The results of the introductory survey indicat ed that the elementary preservice teachers engaged in this study used from four to eleven different types of social media, with each participant using an average of six different types of social media. The different types of social media listed in response to the introductory survey represented 18 unique social media tools. After checking the actual usage upon completion of the text messaging portion of the study, it was interesting that the two participants with the highest number of different types of soc ial media actually used had underestimated their use. As seen in Table 4 2 Participant #4 originally thought she was using only five types of social media, but her two weeks of text messaging showed that she was using 14 different types of social media. A lso, Participant #6 indicated that she was only using 11 different types of social media, but it turned out that she used 13 different types during the two weeks of text message responses. Conversely, Participant #3 reported using eight different types of social media on the introductory survey, but only reported using four types during the text messaging portion of the study. Although everyone listed the use of Pinterest on the survey, not everyone reported using it during the time the text messages were being collected. This would suggest that while Pinterest is a popular application, there are different levels of users. There were other obvious usage differences between what was reported on the introductory survey and what was reported in the text messag es for several of the social media tools. For example, while four participants originally stated that they regularly used Twitter, only three of them reported using it in their text message responses. However, there were two others who also reported using it during the introductory survey. Possible causes for these discrepancies could be that
91 Twitter is used more as a mobile used it might not have even noticed they were usi ng it separate from text messaging. The use of YouTube was reported in the introductory survey by two participants, and other participants did. The Real Story of Social Me dia Use When compiling the text message responses and searching for types of use from each individual, it was interesting to note that while the eight participants originally reported the use of 18 different types of social media, the real time reporting w ith text messaging showed that they actually used a total of 31 unique types of social media. The discrepancies in these numbers helped to solidify the reasoning for using the Experience Sampling Method to get a more accurate view of what the participants were actually using in real time and context, rather than relying on them to remember what they had been doing at different times of the day in order to write it down later. Table 4 2 Number of d ifferent k inds of s ocial m edia u sed Participant Different T ypes of Social Media Listed on Introductory Survey Different Types of Social Media Actually Reported in Text Message Responses #1 5 3 #2 4 7 #3 8 4 #4 5 14 #5 4 3 #6 11 13 #7 5 6 #8 5 3 # of Unique Types of Social Media Represented 18 31
92 Content Analysis of Text Messages A summative content analysis with keywords was conducted on the text message replies to look for: a) types of social media that were used by each participant, b) how many times each type of social media was used, and c) patterns o f social media use based upon the day of the week or the time of day they were being used. After this specific analysis was completed, the text messages were then studied to determine what was being done with the social media they were reporting using. Ide ntifying Usable Data With one text message being sent to each participant every hour over the course of two weeks, there were 336 messages sent to each individual participant during the study. This meant that a total of 2,688 text messages were sent to the group as a whole. Out of all the texts sent, there were a total of 1 118 replies received, an average of 140 replies received from each participant, a low of 77 and a high of 215. Table 4 3 illustrates the number of text messages received from each indiv idual participant. Table 4 3. Text m essage r esponses Participant Total Text Messages Received Empty Data Sets Number of Uses of Social Media #1 77 56 21 #2 167 143 24 #3 86 30 56 #4 164 129 35 #5 113 46 67 #6 159 93 66 #7 137 121 16 #8 215 182 33 Totals 1118 800 318 Of the initial 1 118 replies, 800 were considered as empty data sets because the participants were not using any form of social media at the time they received the text
93 message, or for fifteen minutes prior. This meant that out of all the replies received, there were 318 responses that indicated a current use of one or more types of social When looking at the number of empty data sets received from each individual participant, it was interesting to note that a high number of received text messages h usage of social media. For example, after eliminating the empty data sets, although Participant #8 had the highest text message rate with a total of 215 texts sent, he had only the fifth highest rate of usage, at 33 total uses of social media. In additio n, while Participant #3 sent the second largest number of text responses, with 167, she had the third least amount of messages that indicated act ual use of social media. Table 4 4 shows the number of messages received and type of social media tool used by each individual. Table 4 4 Actual s ocial m edia u se Social Media Tool Participant Number of Uses #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Facebook 8 16 41 3 47 3 3 19 140 Pinterest 2 2 12 1 6 13 1 0 37 Twitter 0 1 33 0 1 0 3 13 51 Google Docs 0 0 0 12 0 2 2 0 16 M oodle 0 1 0 5 0 5 0 0 11 Words with Friends 0 0 0 0 4 4 0 0 8 You Tube 0 0 0 2 3 0 2 7 14 Draw Something 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 Blog 0 0 4 1 0 3 1 0 9 Other 1 3 0 8 2 7 0 1 22 TOTAL USES 11 23 90 32 67 37 12 40 312
94 Identifying Preservice Info rmal Uses of Social Media Since all participants reported the use of Facebook on the introductory survey, it was not a surprise that it was the most often used form of social media of all of the individual participants combined. While there were several di fferent uses of Facebook reported during the study, each time it was mentioned, it was for informal use. In addition, each time Twitter was mentioned in a text message, it was also for i nformal use. The use of Pinterest, while primarily mentioned as being used for personal reasons, was also used informally for education. While it can be revealing to know which particular social media tools the preservice teachers were using, it is more important for this study to examine what they were actually doing with t he different types of social media. Entertainment The most often reported informal use of social media was for entertainment. In describing their uses of social media for entertainment, I am including any occasion where students were using social media as a form of enjoyment, or a way to amuse themselves. Instances of this may have occurred due to boredom, a way of avoiding schoolwork, simply for fun, or because they had extra time to fill. The use of social media for personal reasons was not limited to one particular location for the students. The text messages received indicated that they used social media in class, at home, at connected gives them 24/7 access to any of t he social media tools they want to use, and the continuous ability to share information about themselves with others. Participant #3 often used multiple forms of social media as a form of entertainment while in class. Evidence of this was seen in the sendi ng of two separate
95 continually throughout my 3 hour class from 2 pinterest continually throughout my 3 hour class from 5 e not the only times she referenced using social media for personal reasons during a class; on another am, sending more than one time that she was using F Her constant use of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest led me to wonde r how she was able to accomplish any school related task. There was rarely a time when she referenced the use of social media that it was not in conjunction with another task of some kind. Boredom There were numerous text messages from Participant #8 indic ating that he used social media often as a form of entertainment when he was bored at work. Examples of d through twitter from work, he also went on his YouTube account from home while doing homework and ed her use of clear her mind so that she could concentrate more on her studies. Another exam ple of a student using social media for relaxation and to get her mind off of other matters came
96 from Participant #6. This occurred at 11:00 pm one evening when she had been working on progress reports during the day, as well as working on lesson plans dur ing the evening. She texted that she had been writing on her blog and was also on Pinterest There were also examples of Twitter being used as a source of information for sports or e ntertainment. For instance, one time when Participant #7 was asked if she through frien allows users to gather information from those that are not in their friends list. As with Facebook, several participants used Pinterest out of boredom. During one instance a participant was in a training meeting and blocked from using Facebook using it out of boredom on several occasions when she lumped the use of Facebook, twitter, and pinterest briefly. Hon evening on the weekends seemed to bring out the need to procrastinate in Participant
97 was just on fb briefly, scrolli ng through my news feed trying to avoid doing the hw and Additional Informal Uses There wer e several more personal uses of Pinterest listed by the participants. For example, Participant #1 reported using Pinterest to search for gift ideas and said Much like Twitte r, the use of Pinterest for searching is not limited to friends, or others whose pins you are following. Participant #5 talked about her use of Pinterest while looking up any clues for what to wear as a potential costume for the hunger games premiere to search for wedding ideas. Not only did she report searching for general wedding so reported searching for specific wedding related information, Searches on Pinterest can be contrasted with searches using Google by looking at the way results a re presented. When using Google as a search engine, the majority of the results are provided in text. If images are desired, then Google Images may be searched, but then only images are shown in the results. When searching on Pinterest, the results are pre sented as images with text descriptions showing on a continuous
98 page, without having to click to the next page. In addition, results on Pinterest provide comments from others who have pinned the items to their boards. This feature provides a social connect ion to Pinterest that is missing from Google, unless the user is logged in as a member of Google Plus. Facebook s talkers and c reepers One of the differences between Facebook and several of the other social media formats is that in addition to revealing st other social media formats. For exampl someone to see their tweets, there is not an area that reveals various likes or serves as been created for pinning di fferent topical information, but there is relatively little personal information that can be learned from the boards. The way that Facebook is designed for spends large amounts of time on Facebook looking at other people's profiles, often browsing photos, walls (or wall to walls), groups, or recent activity posted on the stalked person's mini cebook Creeper is defined as : someone who uses Facebook but is looking at other peoples profiles, going through their pictures, their statuses, their wall posts, their picture comments, subscribed to random people, their pages, liking comments on statuses from other people, logs on Facebook out of instinct, liking people's
99 and only have one mutual friend, adding people you don't know just so you can see what your friends say to them a stalking but on more than one person. other pa rticipants listed activities that seemed to fit the definitions of Facebook Stalker example, when Participant #1 mentioned that she was on Facebook because she was bored, sh my Using s ocial m edia for f riend and f amily c onnections The use of Twitter dur ing the study ranged from participants using it as a way of keeping up with their friends and letting their friends know what they were doing. There were several occasions where Participant #8 used Twitter with his friends with no particular purpose, such way I use tw that her posts on Facebook and Twitter were separate. For example, at one point she I was just on facebook, scrolling through my news feed and checking
100 Participant #7 also used Twitter to connect with friends, as evidenced in his messages about his soci al media activities on update my status These status updates by Participant #7 were also separate from her Facebook status updates. One of the main uses of Facebook reported by Participant #1 was for communicating with her husband who lives in a different state. One Friday evening, she g, she Monday evening, she reported using Facebook to send messages and remarked that pictures week to a Facebook to asynchronously communicate with her husband who does not live in town, it appears that her use of Facebook is taking the place of email or telephone voice mail. A main factor that contributes to this pattern for Participant #1 seems to be the differences in sleep/wake habits and the differences in free/class time schedules. Although Participant #1 was the only married student involved in the study, there were reference s to family members by other participants in their descriptions of
101 my dads page. From his page I clicked a YouTube link about his bagpipe band that t another example of using Facebook to connect with family came from Participant #3 who described her activity while on Facebook by saying she rrence of Facebook use for synchronous, or real time, communication with a family member reported during the study. One Friday evening, conversation appears to have taken t he place of telephone communication between the sisters. Many of these family related Facebook activities have taken the place of other types of long distance communication, such as emails, telephone calls, and even handwritten letters and cards. Facebook seems to allow users to complete a variety of tasks from a single location, as opposed to having to initiate multiple types of communication with individual family members. Social m edia u se with m obile t echnology The personal use of social media mobile tec hnology occurred with several participants as seen in their text messages when gaming and tweeting were the main uses of mobile technology indicated in the self reported text messages. The games identified were Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, and Draw Something. Of these three, Draw Something was available only on the mobile phone platform. The sending and receiving of tweets was in evidence on mobile phones, but was also an activity that occurred on laptop or desktop computers. There are several mobile applications (apps) for games that have become popular during the last few years. Three apps that were used for personal reasons on numerous occasions by participants during the study included Words with Friends, a
102 game similar to Scrabble released in beta version in 2009; Hanging with Friends, a game based on Hangman released in 2011; and Draw Something, similar to Pictionary created in 2012. According to the definitions above, two of the participants in this study, or 25%, would be considered avid gamers. This seems to parallel the results of the study conducted by the Information Solutions Group (2011). There were several different days when Participant #6 reported playing games on her mobile phone. On the first Thursday, she spent several hours in office and two separate messages included a reference to gaming on her phone : iting anxiously to seemed to be the mobile game of choice for Participant #5 and her boyfriend. Early one I nteresting ly, that this was the only mention in the text messages of one of the preservice teachers viewing themselves as an expert who could teach someone else. This same student also expanded h er social circle ough her other text messages describing the use of her mobile phone for sending and receiving tweets.
103 Other messages she sent stated quently tweet was tweeting from both my phone and my computer (had a mini conversation w ith my Social Media Used for Educational Purposes After lookin g at how preservice teachers reported using social media only for personal reasons, I then looked at their personal ( and burgeoning ) voluntary professional use of Pinterest. After reporting on the personal and professional uses of social media, it was time to examine the educational uses of social media reported during the survey portion of the study. As defined in Chapter 1 the formal educational use of social media means that the use of social media is required by the course instructor and informal educa tional use of social media is when someone chooses to use social media for classroom assignments even when it is not required by the instructor. The use of Google Docs was reported in the survey by several preservice teachers for educational use. In fact, it was most often used as a collaborative tool while working on group projects for class. The use of the discussion boards on Moodle, the open source online course management system used by the College of Education, was also reported by several preservice teachers as a use of social media.
104 The most prolific user of Google Docs, as reported in the text messages, was Participant #4. Her use of Google Docs as a collaborative tool during the research study was well documented in her self reporting. All of her u se of Google Docs related to education was voluntary, so therefore it is considered informal use of social media. The explanations she gave helped me to understand how she was using it as social media, and not simply as a word processing tool. For example, in one text she said that she In a different post, she explained Another user of Google Docs for a school assignment was Participant #6 who was Google Docs since no one was requiring Participant #6 to use Google Docs for the assignment. In addition to the informal educational use of Googl e Docs, there were multiple instances of Pinterest being used informally for education. Several of the participants used Pinterest to look for ideas to use in teaching for their internship or pre internship. Participants #1 and #2, who were both in their r egular internships, used Pinterest to look for teaching ideas. In fact, Participant #2 actually opened a Pinterest account during the study and acknowledged that she would be using it for both personal and professional reasons by stating st using my Twitter account to look for ideas for
105 of Pinterest for professio other people on how to teach Pinterest often for personal use, yet she demonstrated that she also used it rowsing for teacher ideas on pinterest resource for the classroom, but not necessarily for a lesson plan came from Participant #5 when she was searching for quotes by Moodle allows instructors to create course assignments, give online exams, and provide additional resources for the students. The students may then submit their assignments throug h the online course management system. Using the discussion boards on Moodle can be considered a formal educational use of social media because it was required by their instructor, and not something the preservice teachers chose to do on their own. The di fferent references to the use of the asynchronous discussion boards on Moodle all included information to let me know it was for a class. Participant #2 went on writing occasions. Not only did she use Moodle
106 The specific posts regarding the use of Moodle demonstrated that the preservice teachers were associating any use of Moodle as social media, and not just the times it was used to interact with others. For example, the self reports for Participant #3 also stat e ducational t echnologist, I may not agree with the use of Moodle as a form of social media. However, as the researcher for this study using a constructivist framework, as long as the partici pants are viewing the use of Moodle as social media, then it is a form of social media that merits inclusion in this study. Multi tasking with Social Media As mentioned earlier, students today learn differently from students 20 years ago. For the current g eneration, multi tasking has become accepted as a commonplace Multi tasking while on social media proved to be very popular among the participants in this study. Six of the preservice teachers in this study were multi taskers. Furthermore, Participants #3 and #6 reported multi tasking with social media more often than they reported performing a single task. Each of the participants had different reasons for multi tasking. The uses of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were often indistinguishable for Partici pant #3. I have already mentioned how often she used them simultaneously. However, her multi tasking was not limited to the use of these three. She also followed links in the newsfeeds and stayed on different blogs she found. One time she was following lin ks and it ended with her looking at two separate blogs again evidence of her multi to her blog where she is doing the February photo a day challenge. I scrolled through
107 her p tasking appeared recipe book on my iBooks, using google to death what's foods where eaten in the movi e fatigued when trying to accomplish more than one task at a time, she actually used it as a form of relaxation, as evidenced at midnight one evening when she stated she was on There were also cases of multi tasking that involved both personal and educational use. One example of combining uses was see n from Participant #5 when she texted : Currently I'm responding to an online post for my online language course (not sure if that counts as a social media). facebook is opened in a separate tab, I posted a video about 40 minutes ago I found out about on Y ahoo's homepage about Taylor Swift and Zach Efron doing a duet together. I copied this from YouTube to my facebook page and have been anxiously awaiting my friend's responses since :) Another example of a student multi tasking for personal and educational use watching different YouTube covers of songs, and frequently checking facebook while I When Participant #4 reported multi tasking, it appeared to be for the purposes of her studies. One of these instances was an example of an informal educational use combined with an educational use. She was working on an assignment in Moodle for her online class and needed a way to add something to her document. There fore, she
108 streamed videos reported no negative impacts of multi tasking on her school work. Summary of the Content Analysis In Chapter 4 I went through the content analysis for the I ntroductory S urvey and the text messages. In looking at the data, several things stood out. First of all, elementary preservice teachers are definitely using social media but the majority of their social media use is not related to education. I noticed that Facebook, Twitter, and Pinter est were all used for entertainment at home, in class, and at work. I also discovered that for several participants their purpose for using Pinterest expanded to include classroom ideas. The use of Google Docs, while often for assignments, was selected b y own choice, and not assigned by their instructors. On the other hand, several different instructors made use of the discussion boards in Moodle, the onli ne course management system. A Zoom M odel analysis of the semi structured interviews w ith key informants as reported in the next chapter sought to gain more descriptive dat a about how they made their decisions, and why elementary preservice teachers used social media in specific ways.
109 CHAPTER 5 ANALYSIS OF KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS As sta ted in Chapter 1 the purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe elementary preservice 4 presented a content analysis of the introductory survey and text messages, while Chapter 5 provides a Zoom M odel analysis of interviews conducted with the four participants in the study who were identified as key informants. Interviews were conducted with the key informants using a semi structured interview format (see Appendix D ). In addition, specific questions we re asked based upon the content analysis of the text messages. The data presented in Chapter 5 was gathered from individual interviews conducted with the four key informants in the study. Each interview was analyzed using the Z oom M odel developed by Barbar a Pamphilon. The oral telling of each interview was examined through a macro, meso, micro, and interactional zoom lens and presented as a unique story from each participant. The macro zoom lens sought to uncover the main discourse(s) present in each story, as well as provided insight on the connected their own story, was a result of the meso zoom lens analysis. When looking at the story through the micro zoom lens, it was nec essary to examine the pauses and emotions that were present in the story. Finally, the use of the interactional zoom lens perspective allowed me as the researcher to describe how the interplay between the individual participants and myself contributed to t heir story of their use of social media. The resulting analysis for each participant is presented as a separate narrative, along with supporting data from the interview.
110 Participant #1 Cassie Cassie ee during the time of this study. I remembered her as being a bright, enthusiastic student from the time she was in my undergraduate course on classroom technology integration during the previous school year. During the interview, Cassie assion for what she was doing were quite obvious. Her use of first person voice throughout the interview session made it apparent that Cassie owns her story and wanted the chance to tell it. Cassie iscourses When viewing t he interview with Cassie through a macro zoom lens, it was necessary to examine where she placed herself in relationship to society and the world around her. Two dominant discourses emerged during Cassie a technological discourse and an educati onal discourse. Cassie was an avid user of social media, both for personal and educational reasons. This was an interesting component of Cassie against a backdrop of admitted anti technology te ndencies. When asked about her use of technology since arriving in college, and more specifically, social media, Cassie related that she had just begun using Facebook and YouTube when she came to the university. Like probably I could only honestly say Fa cebook, and that was on, that was back when you had to have a college email address to use Facebook, so once I got accepted to a university, I got on Facebook right away and two I wa There were multiple instances where Cassie expressed her views about her lack of interest and exposure to technology.
111 like that, like they still had a black and white tv until I was about 8, so grade, or something ridiculous, so I still kind of have those tendencies of my Another indication that Cassie was speaking from a place where she previously did not care for parts of technology was revealed when she began talking about the photo like more of a scrapbooker so I do like everything pictures, outside of computers like as technology attitude was again displayed when she referenced having to create a Twitter a ccount in Will Richardson on Twitter? Ok well I never, that was the start of me having a Twitter, and at first I was so irritated I had to have a Twitter because I was ant i Although she shared with me these seemingly negative attitudes toward the previous use of technologies, she also turned around and shared how she was currently benefiting from informally using Flickr for her classes. Ah, Flickr, was like really cool and I made an account uhm only at first only to do this project where we had to document a use of a different kind of social media or continued use or something we learned. I was just trying to take a screenshot of my Google reader, which is like my other new favorite thing, I was trying to take a picture of it to send to my professor so that she computer would not let me just upload it as a screenshot, image or whatever, so I mad e a Flickr account, saved it to the Flickr account, sent her the link and it was so easy and immediately when I tagged it just for fun, there were other tags coming up, and you can like, and then I was like looking back in the book to how to use Flickr for lesson plans and you can just like to teach like copyrighting on Flickr where like how to cite where you could use a photo and like you can take all your photos and put them in put on that you can use in like your classroom and that was really cool, so I
112 While Cassie given rapidly and with much detail she also personal things, she could envision using it with students when she became a classroom teacher : put them in scrapbooks, but, for like having my students do something like that, or even go around school and take pictures, or use cameras and take pictures and upload them to Flickr and things like that, it was just like a really usable site I thought, as anti Flickr as I was, Cassie objection was not about the specific use of the technology, but because she was already involved in scrapbooking, which she equated with certain uses of Flickr. The fact that Cassie had built a familiarity for using Flickr to accomplish an educational task positively in fluenced her willingness to use Flickr in her own classroom. Cassie student and as a teacher became evident. While her educational discourse was revealed in the many instances in whic h she spoke of herself as a student taking classes, a future graduate, a group member, a cohort member, a sorority member, a teacher ( both formally and informally ) an intern, and someone seeking a teaching job, it was in her discussion of herself as a gro up member that more details of her story as a student emerged. Most of Cassie mentioned in passing. For example, her first mention of being a student was simply to say,
113 she spoke of her role as a class group member, she was much more animated and provided more detail by expressing : J ust because of all of the cooperative learning the college of education does, where you have to work with someone who, they might not even be with, and trying to edit a group document, or do a gr oup presentation using group project everyone kind of has to do their part and you can see when they logged in. Cassie aneously when I asked her whether the use of social media was required for any of her current 12, it was like almost ilized Google combination of education and technology discourses allowed me more insight into what other instructors required in their classes. Although Cassie was only using social media formally in one of her classes at the time, she was proud of the fact that she was making use of social media informally in her other classes. An im portant part of the m acro z oom l ens is to look at the cohort effect, including any historical ly were times when her identity as a member of a specific generation influenced the way she views the use of social media. Cassie has strong feelings about how members of her generation are using social media, as expressed here: of weird things on Facebook. So I thi other people my age use the site and so it has a bad rap, so no matter
114 w cause for concern. There was another display of Cassie es social media in certain ways in her discussion of Pinterest. Cassie relayed to me that once again, she had been anti a given type of social media, but once she became more acquainted with it, she had fallen in love with it. In addition to the individu al roles she described for herself within education, when Cassie was talking about her different roles outside of education, such as, daughter, girlfriend, and roommate, it was obvious that she easily identified herself as being a digital native, or part o f the Net Generation. Generational narratives of Cassie tory When looking at Cassie with a meso zoom lens, I listened to see if the story she was telling was told in a coherent fashion if the story flowed or if it was disjointed. I wanted to know what the things were for Cassie that helped to tie her story and experiences together. As part of this examination, I looked for the narrative themes that she repeated during her story. One of the themes that she frequently returned to was a feeling of being part of a particular generation. This was first revealed as she compared those whom she had been through undergraduate studies with to those she had now encountered in her graduate classes. When she was relating the first story about working with group members in one of her classes, she talked about them being from outside of her age group : in different cities and a re just getting their teaching certification, Basically, ( laughter ), it was funny because it was all people names I recognized from our cohort in the COE started the Google Docs and then like all the older, like Moms, or older students coming back were lik e oh this is cool or how do you start this?
115 As Cassie continued to talk about the groups she worked in for her class projects, it became more obvious that she was feeling a large age, or generational, gap between the older students and herself and members of her undergraduate cohort The fact that she related more to the children of her group members rather than the actual members who were in her own classes emerged when she stated y were saying how like one of When talking about members of her undergraduate cohort, she indicated that having older students in their classes that had not been in undergradu ate classes with them was causing them to change some of their group work study habits from using mainly Facebook to using other social media tools also. One indication of this came when she stated : most of us have created groups on Facebook so we can con tact each other that, whic The conversation about older people also seemed to indicate that Cassie saw herself and members of her cohort as being the leaders in technology because the other group members were from a different generation. For example, w hen I asked Cassie about tools the instructor for her online class had suggested using, she acknowledged that if she and other members of her cohort had not already known how She felt strongly that it was due to the influence of those in her age group that they were able to use some of the technology tools for their online course group work, especially with the gap between the age groups, as she mentions here:
116 there was defini tely, like a generational gap in that too where like, the like, already teachers or already had children or just going back to get specialist degrees or what not, they would have, that woul came up with. This informal use of technology by Cassie and those with whom she was working occurred more frequently than formal, or required, uses of technology. In addition to Cassie ational differences, it also served to identify her as a teacher in informal settings. Not only did she talk about herself and others in her cohort group teaching those in their class who were older, Cassie also told me about teaching her mother about G mai l, and how she ( Cassie ): was trying to tell her about how gmail has the contact books, you know, so sen d to this list and she was like this is easy. (laughter) It was easier than AOL or whatever she was using before. One of the places where Cassie appeared to have more difficulty telling her story was when she began to reflect upon the way her friends who w ere expecting, or who have children seemed to have lost a sense of what should be kept personal. The only time during the interview that Cassie : I could easily tell that Cassie was uncertain of what she wanted to say and realized that this was probably the first time she had actually put some of these thoughts into words. As she was talking about the way they post pictures of their children, she told me that a few of her :
117 friends, have like had kids in the past two years I want to say everywhere on the Internet. Cassie returned to the idea of no boundaries when she mention ed how her people that I know that have started having babies and like they will just like take pictures of their stomachs for like the whole 9 months ontinued exclaiming : laughter Cassie had forged such a strong identity with members of her own generatio n by comparing them to the older graduate students, this view of those within her own generation served to help stake her claim to herself as an individual, and her desire to make sure she was not like the others. There were other parts of Cassie hat referenced age differences, not all of which were connected to her being younger than others. For example, when talking about using social media games on her cell phone, she talked about : like younger kids so I started like a random game with like hanging with probably who the chat features maybe just for younger kids or something like that. (followed by laughter) Throughout the interview with Cassie as she expressed her thoughts about social media, I was able to gain an insight into her values system. Cassie firmly believes th at any public persona of teachers, or teacher education students, should reflect professionalism at all times. She also recognizes the privacy risks with social media, but instead of opting out of social media, she takes responsibility for her own behavior s :
118 Another th ing I was thinking is that like Facebook, like uhm, probably just one or two, from the college of education, and I see people posting about classes, or how annoying their advisors at norman are, or, oh pow and I like, you know, make Facebook a great place for venting on your anything, so the same reason for like I guess uh connections, be cause things that should just maybe be texted to each other or something like that. Cassie again revealed part playing games on social media, and specifically on mobile phones. During that part of the conversation, Cassie told me about an instance when s he was playing with one of her friends and utilized the chat feature to talk to him. Cassie ( laughter ), but I did accuse someone of cheating once on hanging with friends on chat because like, none of the words, he could have never come up with, they were j us EKE Have a l ittle dictionary handy (laughter) Cassie ( laughter ) Unh huh, you can use, they have those sites now, for like cheating with scrabble and stuff, And I could tell he was using the hardest that EK E Th at takes all the fun out of it Cassie ( laughter laughter ) Cassie nthusiasm As part of looking at Cassie remember t hat she had actually been verbally telling me her story during the interview, the interview to reference during the analysis phase allowed me to gain more insight
119 into any pauses that may have transpired during the interview, and to examine more closely any emotions that Cassie had expressed. There were times when Cassie technology bubbled over. For instance, when she was t alking about using Popplet with students to make graphic organizers, she said technologies that she had used during her educational technology class and then found that she was going to use them again, she went on to say: ving to like f or example, Zunal. and there was a few more, Uhm, like Vimeo, the video one. All these things like I had, I was like trying to use them for either personal use or for lesson plans for school and I was like, oh, this have t o go back and find the password. (followed by laughter), so I guess I thought I did. According to Cassie she was using Goog le Docs as a student because she had learned about it in the first course on technology integration she had taken at the university. When she was telling me about her use of Google Docs, again her enthusiasm for the use of technology was quite obvious, as when she stated : learning the college of education does, where you have to work with someone who, they might not even be on campus, they might be doing distance courses, or someone I document, or do a group presentation using a graph or a PowerPoint, stuff has to do their part and you can see when they logged in. T here was much laughter interspersed throughout Cassie Most of the time it was appropriate in relation to the content of what she had been
120 talking about, as opposed to sounding like nervous laughter that she was merely using to cover up something else. At one point, her laughter was followed by her sta ting that basically, ( laughter), it was funny because. definitely fit in the conversation. When she was talking about her friends taking pict ures of their stomachs during their pregnancies, Cassie saying, there were several times when I also laughed with her. She told me that s ince she had defriended several people from her Facebook page, she had been tagged a lot Evoluti on from s tudent to p eer Having once had Cassie as a student in my class, I found it interesting to analyze our conversation through a transactional lens and observe the different roles that we both assumed at different times during the interview process. C assie questioned me as the expert on technology at least three times during the course of the interview. When she described emails people were sending her with different images, she referred to and she continued without being distracted from the story she was relating. Another time she referenced being able to buy things by linking out of Pinterest to an online store. Once again, I provided a short answer was what it was and I went to this like Etsy shop and bought a wedding gift for my Cassie came when she asked ose games I w as talking about earlier, like Words with Friends, w
121 of the interview, since so much of the dialogue had become more like a comfortable conversation, I replied without pausing to ask her opi nion first. After my initial response, Cassie and I were able to have a peer level discussion about the elements that had to be present for something to be considered social media and she provided further insight into the varied levels of her social media use. like for example, when I was using YouTube, like I very rarely post, I I utilize it for, like, I have like subscriptions, so I subscribe to Ellen Degeneres and like this one ba nd I like, when they post videos every my communication easier, cause I can like send a link to my friend s, oh, This more informal conversation indicated a level of familiarity between Cassie and I relationship. There were a few times during the interview that she mentioned the class I taught as a point of reference for other information, such as when she spoke about the course on Internet Instruction in K and that class, the maj ority of the sites she introduced were very similar to the class you taught earlier, or the same, like the Cassie started talking about her class we had to allowed the use of more familiar language during the interview, such as when Cassie used the term fancy schmancy when describing a teacher she was foll owing on Twitter
122 Cassie wn use of social media allowed us both to view her as a co researcher for this study. As the interview was concluding, I asked her if there was anything she wanted to add. Cassie articulated her thoughts well when she stated One thing I did notice, is that during every time I was using social media, so doing Facebook and something else, whether it was another social media site, or, but, I was never just like where for homework, and on the phone, Facebook and Twitter, Facebook and cooking, like or never like by itself, and when the text messages like ended and I was like really thinking about it, I was never using social media, like just by itself, I want to try and be the t eacher that does all this social media in her This final statement by Cassie helped to emphasize her evolution from student to peer. Participant #2 Heather Heather was preparing semester and doing her full time internship in a multi age k indergarten, f irst, and s econd g rade classroom during the course of the study. Much of her dominant discourse centered on her role as a teac her, including her current role in the class as an intern and her future role as a fulltime classroom teacher. There was also a second discourse present in Heather the need to protect her privacy. Much of Heather ments related to her need for privacy, both in her personal and professional life. There were several occasions where Heather expressed her struggles finding time to use different technologies that she wants to learn more about.
123 Heather lassroom d iscour se Although Heather was teaching in the classroom as an intern, she never referred to herself as an intern during the interview. Instead, every mention of herself in the classroom was in conjunction with her cooperating teacher and included the word we. A few of the many instances of where Heather referenced herself as part of a unit with do sometimes throughout the week when we have a little free time or need them to kind of Heather cher has made her feel like an equal member of the team and that Heather enjoys that role. This also helps to frame an understanding of Heather ability. Heather indicated that her cooperating teacher is on Pinterest all the time with Heather times during the interview, specifically concerning Pinterest, Facebook and G oogle Docs, it was evident that Heather does not share the same level of engagement with social media for professional applications : able to come out so I resisted and resis ted and I opened one and I was only laughter )). As the researcher, I commented he followed this up
124 When questioned during the interview about whether she shares her teaching ideas with others, she conveyed : And part of, I think my where I have not been using social media so heavily there are four teachers and one teacher will do something and all of a saw that. So I kin This explanation of her behavior was further expressed by : Facebook because if I pin, then everyone else will pin it and then everyone else wil She followed this statement with a giggle that indicated recognition of what she had said. When I probed further to see what she thought this meant for her within the whole realm of social med ia and sharing, she acknowledged : c used to be creative becomes plain She later continued to clarify her attitude toward sharing of ideas with can share small scale, but if everyone is doing the same thing These statements continue to confirm Heather out from the crowd. This behavior is further reaffirmed when she clarifies : I mean, if you want to be a really good teacher and you want people t o be like wow, I remember she did that and we did that in my class and that was this, but then everybody else is doing the same thing, I mean, I guess sometimes I do kind of reinvent the wheel with just making something up
125 rather just whip something up real fast on my own, and do that and you know maybe use a clip from something, but not, not the whole scripted lesson. Until Heather is able to resolve her issues of how much of her self created material she wants to be availa ble to the public, she will not become very involved with small group of close knit f riends to have access to her teaching materials. Heather presents as very confident with her own teaching abilities, yet her underlying fear of others getting credit for what she has done, and her need to stand out from the crowd, indicate her continued ne ed for validation of her abilities and worth. When I asked Heather if she was utilizing the comments features on any of the on a regular basis, she indicated that she was not. In fact, she shared that she : shies away from things that she has to create accounts for and log into you Heather struggling with. Other indications of Heather ty as a teacher came when she was discussing how prepared she was for her own classroom. She revealed that: see you can pin it and then do it later.
126 The n arratives of Heather l ife When I began to look at Heather realized that there were several overlap ping themes. These included her independent thinking, the way that she viewed social media for her own use, her upcoming marriage, and her job search. As mentioned earlier, much of Heather her life as a teacher. Present within t his discourse was Heather abilities to plan activities for the classroom on her own. Heather as a classroom teacher who can easily create new lessons for her students manifests itself when she expresses how s he views the planning process. She asserted that : i figure out something rather than just sit there and think and like how I do my cover, and then I think of, ooh, that would be really cool to explore colors, you know, give them got to find it online to be able to do it, I can just do it on my own. For exam ple, at one point when she was talking about not wanting to use lesson plan ideas that everyone else was using from Pinterest boards, she expressed educa of desire to share her independently created lessons with those from outside her most intimate circle also suggested that it would be hard for her to collaborate with o ther teachers. Heather did not view the use of social media as a tool for communication as being necessary in order to share information with those in her inner circle. About midway through the interview, Heather voiced her feelings about sharing informati on with others that served to sum up how she looks at the use of social media :
127 then other people discovered it and I mean word of mouth, it has spread. Settle On In, so Ms. Brewster, one of the Project Friends teachers, she found it, she told my teacher ab out it, my teacher and I have been working on, like using it, and then we told Ms. Zowden, another one, then we told using nd of weird, some URL. A further indication of Heather from the mainstream appeared through her self identification as a member of a large cohort that took und ergraduate classes together. Due to increased distances in physical locations, Heather had not continued to maintain those connections. Having taught all of those who were in her peer group as undergraduates, I knew they had previously made use of a privat e Facebook Group for keeping up with each other. I asked Heather during the interview if they still used it to keep in touch with each other and found out they because, Tay As I continued to explore this idea of people in her cohort not all keeping up with each other, Heather told me distance, I find it difficult when people move away to keep socializing on, through the Int This idea of distance was further expressed in terms of individual members of the cohort that she does or does not communicate with and why. She sees the use of social media as a supplement to in person interactions with others, and not something to be used to replace face to face communication. This point of view again points out Heather philo sophy from those that see social
128 media as a tool to help connect with individuals who are not geographically close to one another. She mentioned three others from our class with whom she had been close and described their relationships now : in Atlanta. And even though the Internet could make us easily much. Whereas, JoAnna and Erica, Erica lives above me, easily, and we talk about things more. A strong penchant for privacy exhibited itself not only in Heather life, but in her personal life as well. Immediately after I read the introductory statement from the IRB at the begin ning of the interview, Heather jumped right in to tell me that while she was doing the study and tracking her own usage, she realized that: was primarily using Facebook for socia l use, and then I deactivated my in law, and all that jazz. But, so anyway, I deactivated it for a little while toward the end and then reactivated it recently, uhm, but yeah, it was in teresting to see what I was using and what I was using it for. As I was still processing this opening dialogue full of information, I commented on Heather continued going on with her next statement to say inhibited the flow of Heather During the interview, she revealed that the main reason for reactivat ing her Facebook account was so that she could be available to : communicate w ith people with wedding things coming up and if people had questions or wanted to talk about certain things, I wanted to be able to, since the world is so much on Facebook now that I wanted to be able to do that, versus you know, them trying to text me, or do they have my number and this kind of thing.
129 The jumping around within the topic of Heather the interview. Heather s truggles with s hared r esources Since Heather had talked so much about not wanting to share the things that she had created online, her story seemed to get bogged down as she continued talking about finding online resources. An unresolved dichotomy presented itself when she s : preparation with that and so we have consistently been using that each week. Heather went on to talk further : considered making a blog kind of like Mrs. Zirulo..but then other people find yself to try to just you know put all of my ideas and put all of my resources and upload things worksheets and this and that kind of as my classroom website as well, but take thi teaching based off of these you know, little videos, or whatever. now having access to her materials is a huge stumbling block for Heather in the use of any online technology, but especially social media. It was easy to tell that this was something Heather was still struggling with, as indicated by multiple uses of the p The presenting of these personal dilemmas or challenges was another way in which her story was disjointed.
130 Heather isclosure to the r esearcher There were several times during the interview that I encouraged Heather through the use of body language, such as a nod of the head or a smile while she was talking. There were also instances where I used affirmative language and agreement to try to elicit more information from her. An instance of this occurred when sh e was talking situation, I was able to find out more about Heather She was very much interested in making sure that her teaching was differen t, and not simply a copy of everyone else : Heather w, little videos, or whatever. EK E Right, sure Heather But, I think you can share small scale, but if everyone is doing the same thing, t EK E Uhm, hum Heather EK E Heather I knew from everything she had already disclosed during the interview that one of Heather However, the fact that we had already established a relationship prior to the research study, as well as the fact that she had disclosed a brief version of why she had deactivated her Facebook account at the beginning of the interview, led me to inquire further about what had happened. Since Heather had never returned to the story of deactivating her Facebook account and we were approaching the end of the interview, I asked her to tell me what had
131 caused her to deactivate her account. Reasons for Heather s v ery strong feelings about privacy and being able to keep what she has created to herself began to e merge as she related an episode that previously occurred between her and her future mother in law Heather felt her privacy had been invad ed when picture s she uploaded on her Facebook wall were claimed by her future mother in law as her own and posted on her own wall. T his breach of privacy became such an issue for Heather that not only did it result in her future mother in law defriending her on Facebook, but Heather ended up : really on Facebook anymore; feelings because it goes to, well what is, what is, you know, Facebook etiquette? What are your rights on Facebook?... It was so ridicul As Heather finished telling this story, her voice trailed off into silence. Although she had been qu ick to tell me about having mother in law problems at the very beginning of the interview, the silence led me to wonder if she was now experiencing regret over having shared this episode. Having learned the high value Heather placed on privacy, I knew that she would not have disclosed this episode to someone with whom she did not already have a shared history .T he fact that we already knew each other allowed me to gain this further piece of insight into Heather in the world of social media. Participan t #3 Yazmin At the time of my interview with Yazmin she was one week away from for K 6 and special education for K 12. Although she had been through the
132 undergraduate program with others in the Elementary Education program, she had completed her full time internship in a secondary level special education classroom. The placement for her internship reflected Yazmin She shared dur ing her interview that she had difficulty convincing administrators in her program to place her in non elementary classroom settings. Yazmin experience was the dominant topic that emerged during our interview time together. In addition, the rela tionship between Yazmin and I played a large role in the interview. Into the b logosphere with Yazmin One of the things that stood out from Yazmin she was with blogging. As I asked her to tell me more about many of the blog experiences she had mentioned during the text messaging stage of the study, she let me know that she has a blog called simplyumi.com. She also told me Yazmin t old me that one was, stressor, and I know my fianc likes Yazmin about her blog. It was easy to see that Yazmin her and she took a great deal of time explaining her cooking blog to me. She shared that the basic structure for her blog begins with a recipe created by someone else that she finds in a magazine or elsewhere. Yazmin then told me how she goes through the p reparation of the food item and posts pictures for each individual step of the process, along with a picture of the finished product. She then concludes each food post with her own review of the preparation and completed dish. In talking about the kinds of food dishes she includes
133 there that will do the recipe and be like, this is dis Yazmin tone of her voice that she really missed being able to work on her blog and that it was truly something she enjoyed doing. Her sense of pride in what she had created was evident during the interview when she pulled up one her blog entries and showed me all of the steps and the pictures that she had taken at each stage of food preparation. Yazmin also talked about her desire for more hi ts on her food blog. To try to generate more traffic to her site, she told me : when I put up new recipes. I put it up on Another occasion when Yazmin expressed excitement about her blog was when she 1st using Google Analytics to monitor traffic on her blog, and discussed how she was always checking her stats. When talking about other things she did to drive more traffi c to her blog, she declared: used to, I just put the recipe on Facebook, but I also put it on Stum ble Upon, so I still get I would get big hits on Stumble Upon the day that I put it good about that.
134 After heari ng how important Yazmin to her, I asked if others ever commented on her blog and she responded that it was mainly her mom who left the most comments. She went on to tell me that she pre her bl og was tempered by her expression of wariness about the amount of spam she received on her blog and her uncertainty as to how to eliminate it. Yazmin of her own blog, but continued w ith a description of a few cooking blogs she follows regularly : over a dozen blogger awards and uhm he actually works for about.com awesome. When I questioned her about whether or not she leaves any feedback on blogs written by others, Yazmin was quick to let me know that she occasionally leaves comments on one, added that although her dad follows her blog : was like so, yeah, I was like thanks Dad, thanks for letting me know Chef John, Chef Jo serves as a point of inspiration for Yazmin and appears to be a model for her own creativity. Yazmin related her story mainly through a first person account. However, the re were a couple of times where she took on the role of narrator and described her own
135 actions to the tape recorder being used to capture the interview. In this way, she was personifying the recorder as being a participant in the interview. She even went s o far Looking at Yazmin ircle While Yazmin the lack of interaction with her peers also played a significant role in her story. Yazmin talked about her isolation from those in her own peer group .A ny positive relationships with others that she talked about in the interview centered on her fianc, her family, and a few close friends. Other narrative themes that appeare d in Yazmin a) the different types of social media she was using b) her current role as a student, including her teaching internship and classes she had taken and c) her job search. Yazmin er fianc, her family, and two members of her cohort. She told me that she cancelled her original Facebook grandma, my grandpa, the sisters, my aunts and uncle and their two kids, when she was describing the blog followers that she knew personally, she mentioned most of the same audience, with one addition. She told me : the mai n ones that follow my blog are my mom, my dad, my sisters, my During the discussion of different types of social media she was using specifically Pinterest I asked her to tell me the kinds of things she usually pinned to her boards. I also wanted to know how much re pinning she did and the kinds of socialization she had that centered around her Pinterest boards :
136 like I found this perso specifically her special ed stuff a lot, and I just recently started following ho board, and a few other people, and I like her board, so I follow it, so uh, I do, I do It was intriguing that within this one section of d ialogue, Yazmin revealed that she followed boards related to the things that have appeared as major themes in her story. I was amazed at the fact that so much could be seen in relation to social media. There was her personal interest in Dr. Who, her inter est in teaching and special education, and information about her upcoming wedding. This information was telling in terms of revealing how much social media is integrated into many different parts of her life, and not just pigeonholed into one area. I was a lso interested in finding out the kinds of social interactions Yazmin had with on others. When discussing the comments that others made on her boards, however, she told me : Y azmin Yeah, sometime people comment on my pins, uh, especially if they really like it, and then on the sidebar you can see who re pins your stuff, so a lot of my cohort, like the ones that are getting married too, they just re pin some of my wedding stuff EK E Do you want to talk about that one? Yazmin laughter ) After listening t o Yazmin group, it was understandable that she looked to her blog on social media for validation and as a way to feel more self worth. As we were discussing people re pinning things
137 from her boards, she explained that there is an option on Pinterest that you can have Yazmin about in class, along with her enthusiastic response to the emerging technology of Google G lasses, seemed to indicate fearlessness with respect to social media. Because of the attitudes she revealed toward those technologies, I was surprised by her later c omments that reflected a reluctance to share information online. At one point in the interview when she was talking about an app on her phone that she used for tracking her running sessions I asked if she made use of the social media part of the tool tha t allows the sharing of information with others In reply Yazmin told me t hat she : got rid of my main account and I just got a secret account, just so I could have my mom, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, the sisters, my aunts hear all the whining, and friends are not really your friends and then my students wanting to try to find me, so, I got rid of it. Yazmin also revealed that part of her reason for not having a Facebook account was because her mentor told her to get rid of it: He said it looks re ally bad if you go for an interview and they say, oh do you have a Facebook, because supposedly there was just a sting where they found a bunch of teachers, uhm, getting with their students through this rather get a job than have Facebook Yazmin e xpression of s elf During Yazmin with enthusiasm and conviction. The dearth of pauses did not indicate hesitancy on her
138 p art, but were used more to allow her to catch her breath. Yazmin did not take breaks from her story except during the times she talked to the tape recorder to tell it what she was doing. There was much emotion displayed by Yazmin while she was telling her story. She demonstrated compassion for her students when she described her response to her special education students and their life goals. She told me : so these are the kids that are failing math, English and all these subjects lot them, they are not ready for. I could tel l that Yazmin had a genuine concern for these students because even though the students she was talking about were in her internship, she still wanted to protect example of Yazmin already viewing herself in the role of teacher. She also displayed empathy for others during the interview when she explained to me why she did not comment on other blogs : know, if there were comments on mine that seemed negative, I would feel bad, so I people was moving In the midst of her own striving for comments and recognition on her blog, she was still paying attention t o the feelings of others on other social media platforms. Another expression of emotion from Yazmin was her use of sarcasm. In one instance, she provided a vivid description of why she does not use Twitter by asserting :
139 d, I actually set laughter ) (stated sarcastically) Other emotions expressed by Y azmin included happiness, joy, and frustration all with different groups of people. Although she was sad to be almost three hours away from her dad, she expressed happiness at being able to talk to him when she exclaimed were numerous t imes when Yazmin talked about her cooking blog, and each time she expressed joy at what she was doing. Her main point of frustration was exemplified in her earlier description of how other members of her cohort had let her know that she was nothing like th em. Just b etween the t wo of u s : Yazmin n eed for v alidation There were several connecting points between Yazmin and me that surfaced during the course of the interview. As the interview began and I questioned her about the online sites she was a member o f when she first began college, she immediately jumped past her entry to college and began telling me about the things with which she was currently involved. With each application she mentioned, she was quick to let me know that she had learned about each of these things in the class I taught : Yazmin for your technology class, I use most of the stuff still, I use, I, I, I love my WordPress EK E Cool Yazmin I still have my food blog, and I use, is it Diigo? I use Diigo. Cause I used to have something else, but I switched to Diigo cause we had it in your class EKE Did you have Delicious or something?
140 Yazmin Delicious, yeah, and they changed their terms, or it shut down, so I switched to Diigo and I like that still, uh, I do still research a lot of things, I do a lot of Ted.com, cause I discovered it while doing your class, and I real ly interesting EKE Yeah Yazmin The way Yazmin stressed the things she was doing with social media and related them to the class she had taken with me as the instructor helped the first transactional relationship to appear that of Yazmin as my former student. She was very proud of her blog and enjoyed showing it off to me as her former teacher especially since her interest in blogging had been sparked after she had to create a blog in my class. This example of the intersect ion of our individual lives contributed to the comfortable way that Yazmin shared her story. One of the distinct things I remembered about Yazmin presentation she did on augmented reality. During the interview, I asked her if she h ad seen any of the recent news items about the new Google G lasses. When she indicated that she was unsure what I was talking about, I gave her a brief synopsis of what I could remember seeing and hearing about them. There were parts of my explanation that reminded her of what she had learned for her presentation in class and she responded it because of the presentation she did in class and she remembered that it was on S ixth S ense T echnology that she had learned about on a T ED video clip. She went on in the interview to talk about how she thinks artificial intelligence might have an impact in the future:
141 e I just recently watched a thing uhm, from this Japanese car company and they literally have AI in their building, they have AI where the child machine is walking around and interact with customers and multi task. She even referenced her mom and the fact that she always says conversation about Google G lasses, Yazmin commented in jest Yazmin exchange went from that of former student to that of peer when we were interacting about the augmented reality and artificial intelligence applications and how they would impact us in the future. Talking about our shared exp eriences contributed to the informal atmosphere of the interview with Yazmin In fact, there were several points during the interview that she would pantomime talking to the tape recorder as if it were another person in the room. For example, when she star ted talking to me about the Urban Spoon app she had During a discussion of what happened i n one of her online classes, Yazmin had no problem venting to me about her feelings on the subject, as illustrated below : ven like teach me, you just said read this textbook, humph, what am I gonna do, I can do this on my own, I can just read the textbook on my own and know everything. That class frustrated me. The following exchange shows the relaxed relationship between t he two of us, and helps to illustrate that we were feeling the same about the way her class was taught.
142 After Yazmin had expressed her frustration with her class, we both became playful in : Ya zmin That class frustrated me. EK E It sounds like it Yazmin Uhm, it was stupid. ( laughter ) EKE ( laughter Yazmin ( laughter ) yeah, it was stoo pid EKE S toopid (said together) Yazmin Stoopid! I think I got a B in that class While the two of us were able to joke around about the situation, we both understood that she was frustrated. Our shared reaction to her class was another example of our new role as peers. Participant #4 Laura Laura was completing her 4th year of study in elementary education during the study and preparing to move away from the university town so that she could live at home during her year long internship the following school year. She was one week away from graduatin From reading the many text messages from Laura during the first part of the study, I knew that she w as an avid user of social media so I was looking forward to hearing more about her experiences. The two main discourses that emerged from Laura interview were her interactions with social media and her view of herself as part of a group rather than an i ndividual.
143 Laura l ife in s ocial m edia One of the unique elements of Laura between her discourses of social media and herself as a group member. Whether it was with high school friends, her family, or members of her undergraduate class in college, Laura part of a group and how social media helped her to stay connected to the various groups. She told her story from the first person pers pective, but it was hard to find Laura as an individual in the midst of the dialogue. For example, she explained that she uses touch more, with, like my high school fri ends, because my friends have accumulated pictures, and you know, keeping up with friends and family members cause they have Laura was to stay connected to her family; she insisted that it had added : a whole new dynamic to like, I mean, like during March Madness, my D ad, my sister and I, we all had our own bracket on Facebook, and so we had a we, it just added a whole new dimension to our relationship as a family, and Laura nt ways corroborate s her comfort level with social media. Although Laura continuously referred to the different groups of people with whom
144 separate her status updates. As she was explaining her reason for this, she laughed her reticence in sharing her information with other groups while talking about Google Plus. Although the circles, or groups, made it easier to limit who could see the information that she posted, it also made it more confusing for her. the drawbacks to that, is like I can think about who I want to see, like what circle I want to see it, and so it just makes me less inclined to use it, I want to share it them, like, it just, it makes me think too much. I just want to be able to like blurt The continued nervous laughter indicated Laura to face setting. At one point when she was speaking, Laura expressed her thoughts about this by telling me t hat when she was online continued, it became clear that although she was very comfortable using social media, Laura used it mo re to find out information about others, rather than to share her own information with everyone else. When she compared her use of Facebook to Twitter, Laura mentioned that Facebook seemed like a more formal setting to her, so I asked her to explain what she meant : Laura want to,
145 is? is this gonna be ok, or priv more probably at the beginning of thi s year, but like, since more and more say now, and censor a little bit EKE So you like the anonymity before ? Laura Yes! Yes! Laura ding anonymity further supports the argument about her not wanting to share parts of herself as an individual, but only as part of a group. Although the only two forms of social media Laura interacted with when she first enrolled in college were Facebook and Google Docs, she told me that her use of social laughter ( laughter ), progressively getting more i Laura about the types of things she did with Instagram, she quickly responded by telling me Laura I can put this on my Facebook, my Tumblr, and my Twitte r all at the same going through an app to upload it and then waiting for Tumblr and then typing in a post or a status about it, or a Tweet, and that I can just do it. EKE version of your TweetDeck, kind of? Laura than TweetDeck cause it has a visual aspect to it.
146 From this short response, it was easy to tell that Laura is definitely a frequent user of many different forms of social media in her personal life and is quite comfortable in that role. In addition to adding Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter since she had been in college, Laura terest. This enthusiastic response confirmed that Pinterest was another type of so cial media she engaged with frequently. By this point in the interview I had already learned about her uses of Facebook, Tumblr, Google Docs, Instagram, Twitter, and now Pinterest, so I asked her about the amount of time she felt she spends on the differen t types of social media. As she began figuring out the amounts of time she spent on each one, she told me : I guess on Facebook, Facebook and Pinterest are both vying for my time all the time, (laughter). Uhm, I have it on my phone, I have it on my compute r, so, uhm, probably Facebook wins overall, I probably spend usually, spend like an hour and a half on. It depends on what I have to do that day. If I know I have a lot to do, then I d just, oh, it sucks you in. As she continued to calculate the amount of time that she spent on specific types of social media, she declared that in addition to an hour a day on Facebook and one and a half hours on P interest, she also spent over 30 minutes a day on Twitter. The fact that Laura was using over three hours a day of social media, not including her time on Tumblr or social gaming, was not a surprise to me e specially considering how she :a) described her c onnections to others through social media, b) felt more comfortable
147 being able to edit her thoughts when she was in front of a computer, and c) her tendency to ramble when she was with people in person. With all of the personal uses of social media Laura and I talked about, I wondered if any of this spilled over into education either formally or informally. Laura Laura reveal ed that while Google Docs was assignments. Not only did they use it as individual s to add their own parts to the large project, they also collaborated with everyone online at the same time, at night : you know, and helped Since there are so many components to Google Docs, I asked if they ever used the chat feature and Laura replied in the affirmative by stating that sing that to kind of communicate what we were doing and then, editing and then everybody had Laura and her classmates used social media for collaboration on assignments confirmed t hat social media was a useful tool for education, and not just something they used for personal entertainment. One of Laura media, I would have to label this as the understatement of the year
148 Laura l ack of f ocus There were several occasions during the course of the interview where it took Laura an extraordinarily long time to zero in on the answers she wanted to give, even when it was a subject she had exhibited interest in. This caused her story to become very disconnected. At one point in the interview, as she had finished describing her use of Google Docs and I was asking her about any new types of social media she had be come involved with since she had enrolled in college, the following exchange took place : EKE So what other types of social media or networks have you made use of since you started college? Laura t what ( laughter ), EK E Just whatever you can think of Laura EK E Laura laughter ) EK E OK, you mentioned that you started Twitter Laura Yes EK E You started a Twitter account, uh, and what were some of the reasons that you decided to start tweeting? Laura Uhm, just cause I thought it would be fun In addition to it taking Laura a long time to come up with answers to some of the questions, there were times when she forgot altogether what the questi on was even as she was in the middle of her answer : EKE Do you follow many boards, or what kind of boards do you follow maybe
149 Laura I act ually have found blogs through the Pinterest website that I have now EK E The boards that you fol low on Pinterest, Laura Follow (another long pause) EK E Are any of these people not within your social circle? Laura Yes, ( laughter ), yes This was not the only instance where Laura had a hard time keeping up with what she was saying in answer to a questi on. While she was in the middle of trying to answer another question, she said The multiple instances of Laura in following the conversation between the two of us emphasized that she is much more used to being able to process thoughts in an online setting, rather than face to face. In addition, Laura made a point of saying, to ramble in person ( laughter ), so I guess on Laura By giving me this confession she confirmed that she is much more comfortable in the social media setting than she is with interpersonal inter actions. This situation can be construed as both a positive and a negative for Laura As someone who uses social media often, it is good that she is comfortable in the online environment. However, as someone who wants to become a classroom teacher, the ten dency to ramble in person can potentially sabotage her efforts in front of a group of students. Although I found out at the beginning of the interview that Laura would be completing her year long internship the following year, I was surprised that she did not
150 reference it again during the interview. I expected it to appear when she spoke about different social media tools she was using at least for the searching out of lesson plan ideas or perhaps even using social media to find out about her cooperating te acher for the upcoming school year. S earching for e motion in Laura s tory There was an obvious lack of emotion in Laura in the telling of her story. There was neither happiness n or sadness expressed in relation to any of the instances of working with social media, only a presentation of the facts ; e ven th ese were hard to follow given the recurring loss of focus and the need to have questions repeated. Since these pauses caused the story to lose connectivity, they have alre ady been covered within the description of the meso zoom lens. Looking for a s hared c onnection with Laura There was very little transactional interaction evident between us during interview. There were only two times that she seemed to take on any role other than that of the narrator of her story, and both of those times she exhibited characteristics of becoming the teacher. The first time was when she was explaining Diptic, a new app she had recently downloaded The second occasion was when she rel ated an example of being the first one to tell her cohort about using Pinterest. There was positive reinforcement from me during the interview that falls into the category of reaction. Most of this came in the form of encouragement when I was trying to re mind her of the question, or of the answer she had been in the middle of when she would lose focus. At other times, I provided encouragement by a smile, nod of my head, or even agreement with what she was saying. An example of this occurred when she was te lling me about her collaborative use of Google Docs with group members in her
151 class. During her telling of how they used Google Docs to make sure everyone in the group had the most up to date version of the document, I responded with I was genuinely excited that they were using the collaboration component of Google Docs rather than simply using the program as a substitute for a word process or At another point in our conversation, when we were discussing her use of Twitter and how she engaged it differently than Facebook, she told me continu e talking more about the subject. Unfortunately, she moved onto another topic. Throughout our interview time, there seemed to be very little, if any, reference to the fact that she had been a former student of mine. Instead, the questions and answers seeme d to be asked and answered as if in a setting where the participants did not already have a shared background of any kind. Chapter Summary The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover elementary preservice cial media. Chapter 1 described the purpose and significance of the study, while Chapter 2 provided a review of relevant literature. Chapter 3 presented the results of the Pilot Study as well as the design of the current study. Chapter 4 provided the resul ts of the Introductory Survey and a summative content analysis of the text messages received from eight study participants. In this chapter, t he interviews with each individual were examined for meaning using a macro, meso, micro, and interactional zoom le ns as based on of the Zoom Method (Pamphilon, 1999).
152 Chapter 6 will provide a discussion of the findings, including an examination of intersecting and divergent points between the individual stories of participants. The disc ussion will be further extended to include implications for teacher educators and their use of social m edia with preservice teachers.
153 CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe elementary preservice tea providing a review of relevant literature in Chapter 2, Chapter 3 outlined the design of the study. A content analysis of the Introductory Survey and text messages was presented in Cha pter 4, along with a Zoom Method analysis of key informant interviews in Chapter 5. This chapter provides a synopsis of major findings culled from the data analysis described in Chapters 4 and 5. It also suggests implications for the field of teacher educa tion and possibilities for future research. An Overview of the Study Young adults live in a constantly connected world and are continuously engaging with social media. stimulated by active engagement, participation in a group, frequent interaction and feedback, and connections to real world contexts (Bra nsford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999; Astin, 1984; Chickering & Gamson, 1987). Different forms of social media can help to meet each of these goal s for student learning. Unfortunately, not all teachers feel prepared to use social media as part of the teaching and learning process in their classrooms. Unless teacher educators are aware of what preservice students are doing with social media outside t he classroom, they cannot adequately design instruction that will help to increase preservice media. Many researchers in the field of technology and teacher education have expressed the need for resear ch that examines how preservice teachers are using
154 social media to engage in learning (Bull, et al, 2008; Dede, 2009; Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Kumar, 2009; Lei, 2009) Studies have been conducted that focus on the use of social media tools in for mal learning (Lonn and Teasley, 2009 ; Walls, Kucsera, et al, 2012) but at present there is a dearth of research focused on the informal learning that takes place with social media. Using text messaging and semi structured interviews, this study explored h ow preservice elementary teachers describe their use of social media. A summative content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) as well as the Zoom Method of Analysis (Pamphilon, 2004) was used to interpret the data. Synopsis of Findings After analyzing data g athered from the Introductory Survey, conducting a content analysis of the text messages, and using the Zoom Method to analyze the key informant interviews, four main findings emerged from the data: S eir formal use S tudents rarely participated in only one task at a time S tudents were engaging with social media from home, school, work, and places in between T here were strong feelings associated with the issue of privacy and professionalism in relatio n to use of social media Informal Uses of Social Media Most of the types of social media use reported during the study were related to informal, non personal entertainmen t, escape from boredom, playing mobile games, and communicating with others. The amount of time spent using social media for non academic reasons specifically social networking sites aligned with previous academic research and consumer based studies sh owing that the overwhelming majority of undergraduates express the desire to keep their personal lives separate from
155 their academic lives. These results stand out in the 2012 ECAR report, as well as a 2009 study of first year undergraduates in Great Britai n. In fact, the latter reported that 95% of the students included in the study preferred to use Facebook for socializing or communicating about school work, but not actually doing the work (Madge, Meek, Wellens, & Hooley, 2009). The lack of informal academ ic uses of social media, and specifically social few studies relate directly to preservice teachers, general college students report using social media mainly to social ize, communicate with peers, make new friends, and keep in touch with family (Grosseck et al., 2011; Luo, 2010; Madge et al., 2009; Mendez et al., 2009; Nemetz, 2012; Selwyn, 2008; Villamore, 2012). Recently, investigators reported that students actually v iew Facebook as a source of procrastination (Siemens & Weller, 2011). These same participants said that using Facebook was also a way of digitally staving off boredom. Bored or not, the most often reported form of entertainment was simply going on differen t forms of social media to pass the time. This occurred most often with Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, which happen to be three of the top ten social networking sites in the United States (Nielson, 2011). Mention of mobile gaming occurred in several ref erences, further confirming expected uses of mobile technologies. Ownership of smartphones, tablets, and other types of mobile devices is increasing at a rapid pace. Smartphones have become the primary way that young adults, and not just undergraduates, st ay connected to the Internet (Pew, 2012).
156 Many forms of social media offer the flexibility of synchronous or asynchronous communication within the same platform. This ability to connect in multiple ways is reflected in the findings of Junco, Heibergert, a nd Loken (2010) They chose Twitter specifically because it allowed for ongoing dialogue while also providing several of the benefits of a social network for connecting students to one another. Another significant finding was the use of social media as a communication tool used to bridge physical separation over long distances as well as to chat casually with those in closer proximity. In many ways, the use of social media sbe it is Facebook, Twitter, or texting now serves the function that telephones pre viously monopolized. I found this intriguing, especially in light of the fact that smartphone ownership has seen such a rapid increase. Although the informal uses of social media greatly outweighed the amount of formal use the participants reported, it wa s interesting to note that all references to the formal use of social media for communication or collaboration in an educational setting involved the Course Management System (CMS) Moodle. The CMS was primarily used place to deliver information, or for the students to submit assignments. There were a few instances where the ability to post to a discussion board or participate in synchronous chat activities were referenced, but most of the time their description also i ncluded an expression of frustration from the students that their professor did not take full advantage of the tools available. Cassie specifically mentioned that the instructor for one of her online courses did not want them to use Google Docs for their a ssignment since he wanted to see the discussion that took place between the members of the group. However, Cassie and other members of her group
157 went ahead and completed the assignment using Google Docs because it gave them the ability to collaborate som ething that was missing from regular word processing programs. Once they had completed that part of the assignment, they then went back and created a fake chat transcript so they could submit it for their instructor to see. This finding was eerily similar to an instance reported by Lave (1988) in which students fabricated their problem solving results so that it would look like the teacher wanted it to look. As teachers strive to encourage students to assume responsibility for their own learning, it becomes important to recognize that not all students learn in the same way. The positive value of innovation and creative problem solving may be negated without acknowledging the perspective that each student possesses. Otherwise, as Lave just indi vidual heuristics, which may be fragile, but the whole process of inventive problem solving Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989, p. 36) Multi tasking Proficiencies ? For the majority of the occasions when students reported using social m edia informally, they were doing something else at the same time. In light of previous research about how 21 st century students prefer constant engagement and have limited attention spans, this result was not surprising (Berk & Trieber, 2009; Oblinger & Ob linger, 2006; Tapscott, 1999 & 2009 ). tasking was a possible contributing factor to the under reporting of their use of social media. When participants originally reported the types of social media they used on the Introductory Survey, they under reported their use by over 40% on average. The revelation that they going on around them. This data supports current research findings that sugges t the
158 brain is not capable of handling multiple tasks concurrently (Conole, de Laat, Dillon, & Darby, 2008; Gasser & Palfrey, 2009; Junco, 2012; Wood, Zivcakova, Gentile, Archer, de Pasquale & Nosko, 2012) Ubiquitous Connectivity An additional finding of significance in the present study was how constantly connected the students were. Not only did they report using their computers at home, at work, at school, or at other locations, they also accessed social media through their mobile devices. There was no evidence that the types of tasks they performed differed according to geographic location or the type of device being used In addition, other than when they were sleeping, their location or use of a specific device did not follow a time based pattern. Mo reover, l earning what they were doing with social media in multiple places, with numerous kinds of devices, and at all waking hours reflected Greenhow, Robelia, and whole day (e.g., home, work, s 248). V isualiz ing this anytime / anywhere access to social media helps to clarify what learning looks like in the digital age in other words, the type of engagement at the center of connectivism (Bell, 2009; Ravenscroft, 2011; Si emens, 2005). In light of this increased understanding of when, where, and why elementary preservice teachers are connecting, teacher educators can gain a greater understanding of the following three principles of connectivism: Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. Decision making is it s e lf a learning process. (Siemens, 2005, n.p.)
159 Armed with this knowledge, teacher educators are in a better position to integrate assignments into a class structure that: a) models positive elements of connecting with others, b) encourages students to develop their own protocols for decision making, and c) recognizes that students are learning as they m ake decisions about how to create these connections for themselves. This same understanding can also encourage teacher educators to recognize the value of informal learning with social media. Privacy, Please There were several instances during the intervie ws when participants referenced the technology integration course they had taken with me. In doing so, they mentioned specific types of social media learned during the previous course that they would like to have used during their internship. One of the re asons given for not using different social media tools (i.e., those in use at their internship sites) was their aversion to sharing with know. This same desire for priva cy was expressed by at least three of the key informants. They verbalized concern over not knowing what others could see of their profile as their reason for limiting access to their account. Not only were they concerned because they would soon be entering privacy, while often reported in the media when changes occur on Facebook or other social media sites, did not appea r in the literature that was reviewed for this study. The lack of personal privacy in the digital era seems to have left many students feeling more vulnerable. Access to multiple information sources on the Internet and constantly changing privacy policies on social network sites may explain why preservice teachers expressed concern about their information being shared across
160 networks (Langenderfer & Miyazaki, 2009; Milne & Bahl, 2010; Schonberger, 2009). Yet in many ways, the issue is more about the types of self disclosure that are taking place and less about what happens to the information that is put online (Schwabel, 2009). While professionalism is a valid concern for newly matriculated teacher education students, it does not mean that they cannot parti cipate in social media. In fact, the latest studies indicate that between 39 and 45% of hiring managers in the United States use some type of social media (or social network) to help research potential job candidates (2012 HR Beat; Hunt, 2012; & Davison, M araist & Bing, 2011) Preservice teachers who were exposed to a variety of case studies involving educational professionals and the varieties of self disclosure on social networking sites were the subject of a research Mikulec (2012). Results of the study showed that preservice teachers increased their awareness of both the ramifications of the sharing of inappropriate information and the differences in personal and professional levels of self disclosure. At the conclusion of the study, many of the preserv ice teachers went through their own profiles and removed anything they thought could be considered questionable. An additional study of preservice teachers by Kist (2009) looked at preservice teacher self disclosure on social networking sites. Results reve aled that during the that they should have to worry about their use of social media impacting their professional lives. These same students admitted that once they b ecame teachers they would look at their profile more carefully, while not realizing that the current information on their profiles could still impact them (Kist, 2009).
161 There are additional studies of social networks and privacy that involve members of th e medical profession. Surprisingly, a study by MacDonald, Sohn, and Ellis (2010), found that over 25% of recent medical school graduates did not use any of the privacy settings available in Facebook, raising questions about their public persona and what bo undaries should be maintained. Additional studies that examined students or recent graduates in the medical professions also produced similar results. One study of medical students revealed that not only were they posting questionable incidents from their Chretien, J.P., & Kind, 2009). The levels of privacy desired by preservice teachers and medical students can be similar because of the public nature of each profession. In addition to the protection of student and client privacy that is demanded of each field, there are also varying levels of self disclosure that need to be considered. Any emphasis on the type of personal information that is appropriate to share in an onlin e profile should include the necessity of maintaining a professional image at all times. Implications for Using Social Media in Teacher Education As a teacher educator, it is important to make sure 21 st c entury t eachers are gaining social media literacy sk ills and can use it appropriately to engage 21 st c entury s tudents in learning. Previous research has taught us that teachers who use different types of technologies in the classroom do so because they have a positive attitude toward the technology, are com fortable using the technology outside the classroom, and see value in what they are doing (Franklin, 2007; Ertmer, 1999; Bitner & Bitner, 2002). Technology integration courses that are part of a rigorous teacher education program can hope to positively inf luence preservice
162 media in the classroom, as well as help them to see value in what they are doing, by modeling the effective use of social media to enhance learning in their teacher education courses. Building on prior literature, as well as the findings of this study, three implications for teacher education and the use of social media obtain: 1. It is important to provide opportunities for learning that students can engage with from any device and from any locati on. 2. Positive examples of personal social media branding need to be modeled. 3. Students need to understand the potentially negative impact of multi tasking behaviors on their own learning. Because teacher educators have a responsibility to engage their stud ents, not only should the formal use of social media be modeled in the classroom, but the informal use of social media must also be encouraged. Knowing how students learn (Howe & Strauss, 2000; Junco & Mastrodicasa, 2007; Manuel, 2002; Rama ley & Zia, 2006; Windham, 2005 ), and knowing the impact that informal learning can have (Jamieson, 2009; Livingstone, 2001), it seems reasonable to insist that teacher educators take advantage of this knowledge. They need to recognize the direct correlation between social media and the conditions needed for student learning: active engagement, participation in a group, frequent interaction and feedback, as well as connections to real world contexts (Bransford et al., 1999). The current lack of opportunities for engagement with social media was evidenced by the fact that the students were not provided with models that showed them the effective use of social media for engaging in learning. The preservice teachers who were in their internships did not make any attempt to enga ge students with social media either in formal or informal ways. This behavior aligns aligns with previous literature that suggests educators will teach their classes in the styles they themselves
163 were taught (Metros, 2008; Czerniak & Lumke, 1996; Borko & Mayfield, 1996; Willcoxson, 1998). Seeing more examples of social media use modeled in their teaching methods classes would also influence preservice teachers to use more social media. If 21 st century teachers are going to use social media to aid in the de velopment of 21 st century skills, they need to model their use. Armed with this knowledge and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers, teacher educators need to provide digital assignments that encourage students to collaborate through social media. Examples include modeling the use of social media such as wikis, virtual worlds, or Google Docs for the completion of group projects. Each of these types of social media can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and with a variety of comput ing devices. Preservice teachers also need to be charged with developing assignments during their internships that encourage their students to become content creators. Examples of such assignments include using student created digital stories or podcasts to assess achievement of specific lesson standards and objectives, rather than using more traditional forms of assessment such as essays or written tests. The use of tablets or other mobile devices for content creation would similarly take advantage of wha t we know about the devices young adults are currently using to access online content (Common Sense Media, 2012; ECAR, 2008; ECAR, 2012; Nielsen, 2010). Teacher educators need to assume more responsibility in helping their peers to become comfortable using social media in teacher education courses. In order to create an environment that encourages them to use social media, institutions of higher education that are charged with teacher education also need to investigate providing
164 on site training to the coop erating teachers in the use of social media. A part of the modeling to preservice teachers should also include making them aware of both the positive and negative effects of self disclosure on social media sites (Trepke & Reinecke, 2012; Zhao et al., 2012) Preservice teacher mentors can assist with this by becoming comfortable building their own professional online profile. Having done so, they can then advise their students about the importance of reading social media privacy policies and understanding th e various types of disclosure If done properly, in (Labrecque, Markos, & Milne, 2011; Milne, Buhl, & Rohm, 2008). With so much scientific research regarding multi tasking including studies specific to students, it is easy to find evidence to give to students that describe the potential negative effects of multi tasking on grades. While students believe they can perform multiple functions simultaneously, the research sugge st otherwise (Junco & Cotton, 2011; Mayer & Moreno, 2003; Rosen et al., 2011; Wood et al, 2012) Among the previous factors believed to impact multi tasking is the clash of dissimilar cognitive processes needed to complete unrelated tasks (Hasler, Kersten, & Sweller, 2007; Oulasvirta, Tamminen, Roto, & Kuorelahti, 2005; Sweller, 1988; Swell, 1989). Students need to recognize the potential pitfalls and the dangerous impact of multi tasking (Compton, 2009; Rhine, 2011). Encouraging students to examine the cog nitive load required for each task will help them make more informed decisions about the type of social media that will best assist them in engaged learning. Implications for Research This study is a response to recent calls from the field of technology a nd teacher education to use innovative research methods to explore the various ways that social
165 media is being used by preservice teachers (Bull et al, 2008; Dede, 2009; Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Selwyn, 2010). It is now important to consider the what research steps might be needed next to further increase preservice teacher engagement in learning through the use of social media. In addition to keeping step with new developments in social media and how it may be used effectively in the educational environment, researchers have an obligation to continue to consider the needs of learners. There are three areas that can positively impact future research of this kind in the fields of technology and teacher education: 1. A comparison of factors that influen media for instruction. 2. Finding ways to help preservice teachers engage in informal uses of social media that impact their learning. 3. The continued exploration of innovative ways of using social media for condu cting research. As a teacher educator, it is important to make sure 21 st c entury t eachers are gaining social media literacy skills and can use them appropriately to engage 21 st c entury s tudents in learning. Previous research has taught us that teachers who use different types of technologies in the classroom do so because they : a) have a positive attitude toward the technology, b) are comfortable using the technology outside of the classroom, and c) recognize the value in what they are doing (Franklin, 2007 ; Ertmer, 1999; Bitner & Bitner, 2002). Technology integration courses that are part of a rigorous teacher education program can hope to positively influence preservice attitudes toward the use of social media in the classroom These courses and also help them to find value in what they are doing by modeling the effective use of social media to enhance learning in their teacher education courses.
166 Studies conducted on the relationship of social media to teacher education have understandably been s hort term studies, especially given how quickly things change in this digital age. However, it would be instructive to conduct a longitudinal study of this kind that follows a group of preservice teachers through their senior year of classes, into their fi eld experience, and on to their own classrooms. Such a study would help provide insight into what students do in the classroom and how what they do may be connected to what they learned during their teacher education preparation. It would also be informati ve to examine how teachers with various levels of classroom experience use social media with their students. A study of that type would benefit not only teacher educators but also administrators in K 12 schools who struggle with the issue of allowing the u se of social media on campus. Various studies confirm that the amount of technology a teacher uses in the classroom is influenced by their personal attitudes toward the technology, the value they see in using the technology, the amount of personal time th e teacher spends with the technology outside of the classroom, and their level of confidence in using the Fordham, 2004). Follow up research is needed now to see if these sam e factors can be applied to the use of social media in both formal and informal learning environments. Research on the factors that influence teachers to engage with social media in education can also shed light on how to best prepare teacher educators to become more comfortable with using social media in learning environments with their students. A relevant suggestion that emerged from the 2008 National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS) was that informal learning and the energy and creativity
167 associated with it is potentially a way to bridge the gap between social media and academic content (Bull et al., 2008; Sterling, 2008). Nevertheless, there have been challenges noted that could still prevent the gap from closing. For example, the lack of teachers wh o are effectively integrating social media into their curricula means a lack of models available for preservice teachers to observe. This deficiency highlights another problem as well, namelythe limited amount of research available that can identify best p ractices of using social media in the classroom. Therefore, further research is needed on how to create effective partnerships between preservice teachers familiar with the uses of social media on the one hand, and, on the other, teacher educators comforta ble with the content and pedagogies in the classroom (Bull et al., 2008). The increasing capabilities of social media tools, as well as the trend toward mobile devices as the p referred method of connectivity continue to provide abundant opportunity for g athering data, as well as meaning making, for qualitative researchers. When considering the use of social media as a tool for research, attention must be given to ethical issues such as privacy in the online world. However, recognizing such issues in advan ce can help researchers design studies that can effectively protect study participants. While data can be collected through text messaging, as demonstrated in this study, other methods need to be explored. Content created by preservice teachers could be ea sily shared with researchers. Such content includes video, podcasts, blogs, and social bookmarks. In addition, action research for preservice teachers and teacher educators can be explored through the use of wikis, blogs, and multiple other social media t ools that encourage collaboration. In determining the types of social media to use for further
168 research in the field of technology and teacher education, researchers should be encouraged to expand their thinking beyond what has already been done rather tha n settle on traditional methods that may limit access to participants. Conclusion The purpose of this qualitative study examining how preservice teachers described their use of social media was not an attempt to make generalizations across the field of tea cher education and the use of social media. Instead, the purpose of the study was to contribute to the dialogue about teacher education and the use of social media in the K 12 classroom. Findings of the study confirmed that preservice teachers: Use social media, specifically Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter informally more than formally Connect to social media at any time, from any place, and with multiple types of devices Believe they are experts at multi tasking Value their online privacy. Looking ahe ad, it will be important for teacher educators to provide multiple opportunities for preservice teachers to engage with social media in formal and informal settings. Preservice teachers should consider the possible impact of phenomena such as multi tasking They also need encouragement to create a positive online personal brand. Educational researchers need to further explore the idea of connectivity as a learning theory and determine what drives 21 st century teachers to use social media as a tool for educa tion. The research should also explore how to help preservice teachers connect their formal and informal uses of social media. If this agenda is pursued, while
169 the field of technology and teacher education will surely benefit, 21 st century teachers and stu dents are likely to be the greatest beneficiaries.
170 APPENDIX A RECRUITMENT EMAILS Email #1 Subject Line: Request for Voluntary Participation Greetings! You are receiving this email because you are currently a student in the ProTeach program at the Univ ersity of Florida who has completed both of the required technology courses. I am looking for volunteers to participate in a two week study. The purpose of the study is to gather information from elementary teacher education students in order to discover y our descriptions about your use of social media. If you choose to participate in the study, you will be asked to attend a one hour training session, respond to text message prompts about your use of social media over the course of two weeks, participate i n weekly follow up phone calls, and participate in a one hour individual interview. There are no known personal risks to you. In order to participate in the study, you must meet the following qualifications: be currently enrolled in the University of Flor ida ProTeach program, have already completed EME 2040 and EME 4401, and be a user of social media. Upon successful completion of the study, you will receive a $30.00 Amazon gift card. If you meet the requirements and are interested and willing to particip ate in the study, please reply to this email stating your willingness to participate. Please include your cell phone number in your reply. Once I receive your reply, you will be notified of the time and place for the initial training session. If you have a ny additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. Best regards, Ela Kaye Eley Doctoral Can didate University of Flo rida ### ### ####
171 Email #2 Follow up Email Greetings! Thank you for your willingness to participate in the r esearch study providing information from elementary teacher education students in order to discover your descriptions about your use of social media. I am excited about the opportunity to work with you. In order to determine the best time for the training session, please go to the following Doodle link by ( insert date 1 week from date of email ) and indicate the times that you are available to meet: http://www.doodle.com/kitzhwa5vzh53uin Once everyone has completed the poll, you will be notified of the meeting time. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. Best regards, Ela Kaye Eley Doctoral Candidate University of Florida
172 APPENDIX B RESEARCH STUDY TRAINING SE SSION OUTLINE 1. Purpose of study a. Gather information about preservice b. Determine reasons for preservice teachers using social media 2. Description of requirements: a. One hour training session (current) b. Hourly text messages i. Need thorou gh descriptions ii. Try to provide as much detail as possible c. Weekly phone calls i. Make sure there are no misunderstandings ii. Opportunity to expand on descriptions d. Interview i. An opportunity for the researcher to probe a little deeper, based upon prior responses ii. Cha nce for participant to add any details previously omitted 3. Potential risks, benefits, and compensation a. No known personal risks or benefits b. Compensated with a $30 Amazon gift card upon completion of study 4. Time for questions, comments, concerns from particip ants 5. Informed consent a. Go over document b. Signing of Informed Consent
173 APPENDIX C TEXT MESSAGE LOG SHEET TIME Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 12:00 AM Currently I'm responding to an online post for my online language course (not sure if that counts as a social media). Facebook is opened in a separate ta *b, I posted a video about 40 minutes ago I found out about on Yahoo's homepage about Taylor Swift and Zach Efron doing a duet together. I copied this fro *m YouTube to my Facebook page and have been anxiously a waiting my friend's responses since :) Facebook scrolling through status updates on my newsfeed 1:00 AM I posted on my roommate's Facebook wall a picture of the 114 word (taken as a screen shot) I played in words with friends against her 2:00 AM 3:00 AM Yes i heard from friend's status updates on Facebook who live in my hometown there was supposedly a shooting at a local grocery store. I went to New4Jax *.com to check and see if there was any news on it there and there wasn't anything. Then I went to news4jax's facebook page and people were leaving commen *ts questioning what had happened in the area and there was a response from the station in a reply. So no news about the incident on the web page, but on *Facebook... 4:00 AM 5:0 0 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM
174 10:00 AM Yes just scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook 11:00 AM Yes just woke up and checked my notifications and scrolled through my friends' status updates I woke up not too l ong ago and checked my Facebook newsfeed. Just woke up and checked my Facebook newsfeed 12:00 PM Scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook I sent a message on Facebook to a friend asking for information about the air force academy per my brother. I also used Face Time to talk to my boyfriend, even though we are currently in the same house we were testing out the wifi on our phones 1:00 PM Yes Facebook, scrolling through updates statuses on my newsfeed Just read through my newsfeed in Facebook befor e work 2:00 PM Checked my newsfeed on facebook about 15 minutes ago 3:00 PM Yes I just got off work and went through status updates on Facebook 4:00 PM Yes Facebook, scrolled through newsfeed Used facebook to upload a picture 5:00 PM Yes I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook 6:00 PM Just watched the YouTube video the girls from Gainesville High School had posted
175 7:00 PM Currently scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook 8:00 PM Yes going through Facebook status upda tes Checked my facebook notifications I was on pinterest looking up any clues for what to wear as a potential costume for the hunger games premiere :) 9:00 PM Yes I was watching a YouTube video someone posted starring her sister (I went to high school w ith these girls). The girl in the video apparently has her *own slew of videos all with over 10,000 hits! Yes just checked newsfeed on FB Reading everyone's updates on the oscars on Facebook 10:00 PM Facebook scrolling through my newsfeed and reading s tatus updates 11:00 PM Just checked through some of my newsfeed on Facebook Currently checking my newsfeed on Facebook TIME Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 12:00 AM Going through pinterest I've played words with friends with a few random oppone nts (not sure if that counts as social media) 1:00 AM Creeping on friends on Facebook Playing words with friends 2:00 AM Just finished reading the hunger games and am updating my status on Facebook about it and trying to find an appropriate picture on pinterest to accompany it
176 3:00 AM While looking through pinterest for hunger games related things I was redirected by a link to a website called weheartit.com it's kind of like pinterest *with lots of pictures/videos you can upload or "heart it" to tag and save 4:00 AM 5:00 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM Off to work but just checked FB 12:00 PM Just woke up and am checking Facebook 1:00 PM I've been creeping through Face book for the past 30 minutes Just checked through Facebook newsfeed for the first time today since waking up 2:00 PM Just took a break from homework to check my Facebook newsfeed Busy morning, but checked facebook and looked for a quick short quote on pinterest 3:00 PM Looking at pictures on Facebook of random friends Just checked Facebook newsfeed about 15 minute ago Currently checking Facebook 4:00 PM 5:00 PM Used iheartit.com to try and show my sister a hunger games tshirt 6:00 PM
177 7:00 PM In class, but had a break so I checked facebook My roommate just bought a Mac and I uploaded a picture of it to Facebook 8:00 PM Just checked Facebook 9:00 PM At work and had a sec to check some status updates on Facebook. A girl I am working with is trying to convince me to get a twitter and was explaining to *me her use of it Actually my boyfriend is showing me Facebook pictures 10:00 PM Long day and just checked Facebook for what it feels like the first time today. About to s earch on pinterest for dr. Seuss quotes before bed 11:00 PM Have been doing homework but have been taking breaks to check Facebook newsfeed from time to time Looking through pinterest Facebook creeping and posted a picture of our text message conversati on to my friend's wall Scrolled through newsfeed on Facebook TIME Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 12:00 AM 1:00 AM 2:00 AM 3:00 AM 4:00 AM 5:00 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM
178 12:00 PM Just woke up and i'm checking my Facebook newsfeed, one comment on a picture I posted 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM Playing the new game/app "draw something" with my boyfriend on my phone 6:00 PM 7:00 P M Just checked Facebook 8:00 PM Playing draw something 9:00 PM 10:00 PM Watching and helping by boyfriend play draw something Just scrolled through Facebook newsfeed and played draw something with friends Just checked Facebook my brother tagg ed me in a post 11:00 PM
179 APPENDIX D WEEKLY PHONE FOLLOW UP PROTOCOL Good afternoon (morning, evening): Thank you for replying to the text messages this week. As you know, sometimes auto correct can completely change our intended message. The pur pose of this phone call is to make sure that the information I received is actually what you intended to send. On ( insert date of text message ) you indicated that you were using social media to ( insert their text response ). Is this correct? What about ( i nsert other messages, if needed for clarification )? Thank you again for your help with this study. As always, if you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know. Best regards, Ela Kaye Eley Doctoral Candidate University of Florida
180 APPEN DIX E SEMI STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Interview (semi structured) Participant Date/Time Interviewer Location Thank you for agreeing to participate in my research study. Please know that I am interested in what you have to say and want you to know that there are no right or wrong answers to my questions. Since I am doing a constructivist study, I want to find out how you describe your own use of social media. As I told you before, you have the right to remove yourself from the study at any tim e. 1. Are you still a member of the different social media sites and/or networks you joined prior to college? If so, what is your current level of involvement with the things you did before you came to college? 2. If your experiences with social media are dif ferent since you enrolled in college, can you describe how they have changed? 3. If you became involved with different social media sites after you arrived at college, could you please describe those for me? 4. What were some of the reasons that you wanted to become involved with these specific social media sites once you got to college? 5. What is your current level of interaction with the social media sites you joined after arriving on campus? How has this changed? 6. What are some of the benefits you think you r eceive from this interaction? 7. For the different types of social networks you have mentioned being a member of, can you talk a little about how much time you spend on each site? What types of activities are you engaged in while you are online at the diffe rent sites? 8. What part, if any, of this time is related to your studies or to lesson preparation?
181 9. What kind of difference do you think it makes in how you use the social media if it is required as opposed to being something you choose to do? 10. about the people you interact with during the time you spend on social media. What kinds of face to face relationships do you have (if any) with these same people? 11. What are some of the things that you see your friends doing online? How do they make you feel? 12. What types of interactions have you engaged in because of your friends? 13. Is there anything you would like to add? 14. Do you have any questions or comments?
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203 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ela Kaye Eley was born in LaGrange, Georgia and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Valdosta State College. Immediately upon graduation, she moved to Fort Worth, Texas where she r eceived her Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary After serving churches in both Texas and Georgia as Minister of Children, Ela Kaye decided she could have more influence over the lives of child ren by working in the public school system. Her first job as a public school teacher was in DeKalb County, Georgia, where she was the Music Specialist for a K 7 elementary school. It was during this time that Ela Kaye became interested in the use of computers in the cla ssroom and began attending school part time to pursue her Educational Specialist degree in i nstructional t echnology at West Georgia College and State University. After spending several years as an Instructional Technology Specialist in Georgia public scho ols and helping teachers integrate the use of technology into their classrooms, Ela Kaye found that she wanted to know more about why certain uses of technology in the classroom w ere making an impact on students. It was at that time she made the decision t o move to Gainesville, F lorida and pu rsue her Ph.D. in c urriculum and i nstruction, w ith an emphasis in e ducational t echnology. interests are K 12 classroom integration, preservice teacher education, K 12/University partnerships, an d the use of social media to increase student engagement in learning. Ela Kaye received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in December, 2012 and currently works as an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State Universit y in Savannah, Georgia.