Social Networks Integration Into Teaching And Learning In Higher Education In Kenya
Choge, Emmanuel Kipkorir
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Problem The recent innovations in ICT have seen an upsurge in social networking platforms. Everyone is using at least one of the many Social Networks platforms. Lecturers are facing new encounters on how to leverage the positive aspects offered by the social media platforms. The integration of social networks to enhance and complement other teaching methods is thus hampered. Various educationalists feel that social networking is inherently disruptive to the education process. Learners can access them on any computing device. Social Networking platforms help learners become communally and scholastically integrated as well as improving learning amid not being used in institutions of higher education for teaching and learning. Objectives The researcher wanted to find out the integration of Social Networks into teaching and learning in the institutions of higher learning. More specifically, it was looking into the pedagogical, social media usage skills, the attitudes, and perceptions of lecturers towards integrating these technologies into teaching and learning. The preparedness by the institutions for social networks integration and hurdles encountered while integrating these technologies were also examined. A framework for social networks integration into teaching and learning was proposed. Methodology A survey approach was adopted for this research. This employed a questionnaire sent to the respondents. The collected data was analyzed and presented. Regression and correlation techniques were used to check the associations amongst the variables and the significance of the variables to the study. TPACK framework by represented better the integration compared to "Modeling educational usage of the Facebook" framework by Mazman and Usluel. Results Results showed that Social networking is not a new phenomenon to most of the respondents. The majority of the lecturers use Social Networks platforms but mainly for personal use. They should be motivated to repurpose these platforms for teaching. Lecturers attitudes and perceptions, pedagogical and technological usage skills are crucial while planning to integrate social networks into teaching. This is because they are the primary content deliverers. The v availability of sufficient internet connection, computing devices, and ICT support services shows that the institutions are prepared. Challenges pointed out include privacy concerns, data security, policies to guide integration, management support among others. The findings can be used while formulating policies in the education sector. Conclusion This study examines social media utilization by lecturers in institutions of higher learning. The findings strengthen the pedagogical and technological theory base for sound decision making in social media use in teaching and learning. The lecturers, being the content deliverers, are key in determining the success of the integration. Thus, they should be motivated to champion the integration of social platforms into the learning process.The higher learning institutions are prepared for the integration of social media into the learning process due to the availability of sufficient computing devices and internet connectivity. Proper guidelines, management support and user training should be put in place to address some of the challenges raised by lecturers.Future studies should further examine the role played by Institutions’ support programs in encouraging faculty to re-purpose social media usage, the role played by training sessions in supporting its use and also the role played by the type of subject taught and how the chosen social platform fits the subject.
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