Final Survey Report on K-12 Educators’ Social Media Habits

The final research report for a Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking and Content-Sharing Tools was released by co-sponsors edWeb.net, MCH, Inc., and MMS Education. Overall, 61% of the survey population belong to a social networking site, but participation in education specific sites is still low.  However, the survey analysts believe that “as more educators join social networks, and as younger people enter the education workforce, the adoption of this technology will continue to increase.” In addition, the report indicates that now is the time for education industry members to start experimenting with social networking so they are prepared to engage educators when they are ready.

Sent to 83,000 educators nationwide (teachers, principals, and librarians) during late August and September, the survey’s goals were to benchmark attitudes, perceptions, and the utilization of social networking websites and content sharing tools. Seventy-five percent of the respondents were female; there was an even distribution between elementary, middle, and high school educators.

Highlights

  • Educators who have joined a social network are more positive about the value of this technology for education than those who haven’t, but they want the ability to separate their personal and professional communications.
  • Librarians are the most positive about the value of social networking in education, but express frustration with the blocking of access to websites by school districts.
  • Principals have some reservations about social networking and feel behind in the technology, but accept that this is the future.
  • Teachers see how students use this technology every day and believe they will need it for success in life, but teachers feel they have very little time and some reservations about their privacy.
  • Women are more likely to join than men, and as expected, younger educators are more likely to be members than older educators. However, 47% of older educators have joined a social network.
  • Activities with the highest level of engagement are using search engines and searching for products and services, followed by sending text messages, uploading photos, watching videos, and downloading music.
  • When the analysts looked closer at professional use of these sites by job function, webinars are the #1 tool used by principals and librarians; for teachers the #1 tool is Wikipedia.

Discuss the results of the survey or contact the sponsors for more information at survey@edweb.net.

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3 Responses to “Final Survey Report on K-12 Educators’ Social Media Habits”


  1. 1 Elizabeth Bonsignore April 12, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Unfortunately, both this post and the previous post neglect to publicize or acknowledge two very important facts about this study:
    1) The total number of respondents=1284 out of 82,900…That’s a response rate of only 1.5%….What about the other 80,000 people who were surveyed, but didn’t respond? Is this very very small return truly representative of the entire population? How do we know?

    2) The way in which the survey was set up and distributed was via email….So — any teacher, principal or librarian who has successfully hidden their email from public availability was not surveyed at all (whether they chose to respond or not). Granted, it’s difficult to find people who don’t have their email addresses listed somewhere, but…It’s still a factor that should be considered — especially with the lousy return rate. The question that should be asked, is — how do we ensure a better return rate -? How do we make surveys that get at true and truly representative perceptions without taking too much time out of these busy educators’ lives…?

  2. 2 SR Miller April 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    You incorrectly reported that, “Although 85% of all participants have joined Facebook, 76% state that their usage is “seldom or never.” In comparison, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning, and education social networks reported higher usage.”

    In fact, the actual survey showed that 76% of those who had joined Facebook used it “Weekly or More”, while 4% visited it “Seldom/Never”.

    This is a very big difference in meaning.

    Click to access K12Survey.pdf


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