Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty

The popularity of social media and its rapid ascension into our daily lives in nothing short of astounding. Sites that weren’t even around 10 years ago are now visited every day. What’s more, 56 percent of the faculty survey said they expect their use of social media to increase this school year.

Do you friend your students on Facebook?

Do you tweet, or use Twitter in the classroom?

Do you network on LinkedIn, and participate in its groups?

Does your college or university have a social media policy?

For the past two years, Faculty Focus conducted a survey on Twitter usage in higher education. This year we expanded the survey to include Facebook and LinkedIn, while adding a number of new questions as well.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have their strengths and weaknesses, and each are better used for some things than others. But how are the three being used in higher education today? It’s our hope that these survey results provide at least some of the answers while lending new data to the discussion.

Here are just some of the findings from Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty, a 2011 Faculty Focus survey of nearly 900 higher education professionals:

  • Facebook is the most popular social media site for the people who took this survey. Nearly 85 percent have a Facebook account, following by LinkedIn at approximately 67 percent and Twitter at around 50 percent.
  • Thirty-two percent have “friended” an undergraduate student on Facebook; 55 percent said they wait until after the student graduates.
  • Eighty-three percent allow students to use laptops in the classroom; 52 percent allow smart phones.
  • Thirty percent said their institution doesn’t have a social media policy. About 40 percent weren’t sure.
  • Sixty-eight percent have talked to their students about managing their online reputation.

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