- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 18, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118647459
- ISBN-13: 978-1118647455
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence-Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
In today’s technology-driven world, it is essential for student affairs professionals to understand how students interact with social media and how it can be used to enhance educational outcomes, engagement, and retention.
Written by Reynol Junco—a noted researcher and expert on the effects of social media on youth psychosocial development, engagement, and learning—Engaging Students through Social Media outlines a research-based and practical plan for implementing effective social media strategies within higher education settings. This groundbreaking book reveals how social media is already being used in effective ways across disciplines and how it can best be used to meet the goals of student affairs professionals.
As the author explains, the benefits of social media engagement include a wealth of positive outcomes such as improvements in critical thinking skills, content knowledge, diversity appreciation, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, community engagement, and student persistence. Based on Junco’s extensive research and that of established scholars in the field, the book dispels commonly held myths about the effects of social media on students and explores how to successfully integrate social media into both formal and informal learning environments, offering evidence-based practices that can be applied to any educator’s curricular development process.
Engaging Students through Social Media gives higher education professionals a clear understanding and appreciation of the value of adopting evidence-based practices for implementing social media effectively.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Engaging Students through Social Media
“A must-read for student affairs professionals, this book makes accessible the latest research on the promise and challenges of social media in learning contexts, and injects important new insight into the controversial debate about the future of education in the digital age.”
—Urs Gasser, professor of practice, Harvard Law School, and executive director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University
“In this beautifully explained and thoroughly accessible book, Reynol Junco guides educators and student affairs professionals so they can better understand their students’ seemingly ubiquitous social media activities. His evidence-based approach debunks myths, allays fears and, most important, empowers those responsible for students’ well-being to empower the students in their care.”
—Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science; author of Children, Risk, and Safety Online
“Rey Junco’s important new book provides a valuable corrective to rhetoric demonizing youth engagement with Facebook and other social networks. Armed with a wealth of research, including his own in-depth studies, Junco shows that social network services are an important locus for students’ identity development and an important space for student affairs professionals to understand and navigate.”
—Ethan Zuckerman, director, Center for Civic Media, MIT and principal research scientist, MIT Media Lab
“This is the book student affairs practitioners and educators have been waiting for! Dr. Junco provides thoughtful evidence and practical applications to use social media in their departments’ student engagement plans.”
—Ed Cabellon, director, Campus Center, Bridgewater State University
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Top Customer Reviews
Junco describes two ways in which social media can be viewed, the adult normative or youth normative perspective. The adult normative perspective is described as being one that may view social media as negative and unwilling to learn or engage with social platforms, while the youth normative perspective is one that embraces utilization of social media and integrates it with daily tasks. Many professionals may approach social media use in student affairs from the adult normative perspective; however, it is critical to consider how students view social media tools in order to leverage those tools effectively. Junco frequently refers back to these two lenses throughout the book.
It would be hard to talk about social media and not consider how it may impact a student’s identity development and Junco did not overlook a topic so many student affairs professionals are interested in. A great deal of students engage with technology at an early age, and understanding how technology can impact psychosocial development is critical. Junco references a number of development theories in Chapter 3, but my main take away was the idea that social media’s power in identity development lies in the affordances it offers users to participate in particular interest groups or experiment with particular social behaviors that may be otherwise not possible. Furthermore, the cultivation of social capital prior to face-to-face commitment can result in students feeling more confident and self-aware.
Junco shifts his focus to research on informal and formal learning (Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 respectively) as well as designing, implementing and assessing a social media intervention (Chapter 6). This chapter focused on assessment and design was by far one of my favorites as I felt Junco did an exceptional job of making assessment and program design, which can be huge concepts, make sense to someone who’s only taken a few classes on assessment.
What I appreciated most about Engaging Students Through Social Media was Junco’s continued reference to relevant research and data. In reading each page, I found myself latching onto these tangible results and evidence with which to support my many thoughts on how social media can and do impact the students I work with every day.
Whether you are a graduate student, a new professional, or a seasoned student affairs professional, Engaging Students Through Social Media offers something for everyone. As someone who has done a good amount of research on the topic already, I had a strong grasp on the content; however, Junco does a fantastic job of setting the reader up to understand basic concepts in order to get the most out of the work. I can’t recommend this book enough for anyone who is interested in technology’s role in identity development, ways in which we can implement social media interventions to reach desirable outcomes, or develop a strong foundation in research currently out there regarding the topic.
In short: how students use social media becomes a better question than whether students should use social media.
The key contribution of this book is actually two-fold. First, its clear explanations dispel myths and fears about social media in the classroom by drawing on a wide corpus of recent `large n' experimental data. At the same time, the book leverages these datasets to suggest effective modes, frameworks, and evaluation methods that practitioners can use to introduce social media tools for specific goals within student affairs and broader educative goals.
Although each chapter is distinct, readers will come to recognise the various studies and themes that make up the overall arc of the book. One such theme unique from many other books on social media is the importance of rigour and method (Junco writes from a background of psychology, biased towards quantitative methods). Although clearly and diplomatically argued, it is evident that Junco has no time for questionable interpretation of statistical data that can misrepresent evidence. The conclusions in the book (which include findings from Junco's own research as well as other studies) are cautious and almost circumspect in their claims. Indeed, Chapter 6 provides a detailed reminder on what a methodologically sound framework might look like if one were to use social media as part of a learning environment.
Nevertheless, the first five chapters cogently build the case for thinking about social media as tools in and out of the classroom by explaining: what research exists (Chapter 2), important ties between social media and personal identity formation that educators should not ignore (Chapter 3), and evidence towards the importance of informal and formal learning via social media for student development (Chapters 4 & 5) - as well as evidence based strategies on how to be effective in these spaces. Chapter 7 provides a coda for educators to leverage social media in their own "personal learning networks". Chapter 8 speculates on novel methods for research and learning. As a critique, the ideas here could have been expanded upon and more deeply contemplated by the author if space permitted (eg. critiques of gamification, and the predictive nature of `trace' analytics open new challenges that are only hinted at).
This book is highly recommend for anyone who teaches, who finds themselves administrating higher education, or hopes to understand how students actually use social media. Social media are not going away, the question is how students - and educators - will use them.
Instead, I want to focus on the two things that made me most appreciate this book.
First, Dr. Junco's research is thorough and convincing. When discussing these issues it is very easy to rely solely on anecdotal information and hearsay instead of substantive research. Dr. Junco's book does a marvelous job of tracing the important research (both technology-related and otherwise) in a way that is easy to follow and leaves little left to the imagination. Especially for new professionals and graduate students, it is this aspect of the book that will most help them sell the importance of social media to those in the adult normative frame.
Second, Dr. Junco navigates the line between speaking digital native and digital immigrant deftly throughout the entire book. He alternately breezes past the role of reddit and 4Chan while also describing the use and importance of hashtags. If nothing else, technologically literate new professionals and graduate students should look to this book as a guide for speaking about technology with those who are less comfortable.
All in all, this is a must-have for any student affairs professional interested in technology as a whole.
Full disclosure: I am mentioned very briefly in this book. However, my part was so small that I feel comfortable being objective about the rest of the content therein.