Schools and Social Networking Tools

Wed 23 2008

A longitudinal survey of The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), indicates that elementary, middle and high schools are beginning to treat social networking tools as an essential part of preparing students for the 21st century.

A recent news release discusses some preliminary survey results and the implications for educators:

Fifty-three percent of elementary, middle and high schools use some sort of collaborative tools to aid in instruction.

Fifty percent of schools use intranet within their school community and more than 41 percent of schools use podcasts.

Twenty-nine percent of schools use blogs as an instructional platform.

Although not extensively used, tools like online instruction and social bookmarking are popular with almost 20 percent and more than 15 percent of schools using some form of these tools, respectively.

Integrating social networking tools into instruction is widely accepted by public and private schools alike. The final report is scheduled for publication in August 2008.

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.