Graduation Date

5-2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to explore creating appropriate social media policies to ensure these tools are used properly for positive uses and control the negative impacts of social media in the school environment. Although social media can be used as a great tool for modern classrooms, there are a variety of problems. The literature used for the study addresses legal issues and bullying, enhancing 21st century skills and improving communication. Statistics from the Pew Organization and qualitative information from other academic studies were also used. The literature had more concerns about inappropriate behavior than suggestions practicing professionals. The day-to-day issues caused by social media were less than the literature suggested. They all agreed schools need to adapt and effectively use this media to stay relevant. The research indicated that it is still common to just block social media sites, more educators are seeing a real need to implement and use them as tools. The negative aspects are less damaging than the potential is for improving student’s engagement. The research is qualitative in design, using interview protocols. The purposive sample included administrators from district, secondary and primary school level. Results indicated that school leaders are aware of the need to adapt to modern ways to communicate, but remain concerned about difficulties that arise.

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