Effects of Social Networking Sites to Students

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International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 1 (4) (2012) 498-510 ©Science Publishing Corporation www.sciencepubco.com/index.php/IJBAS

The Effect of Social Networking Sites to the Lifestyles of Teachers and Students in Higher Educational Institutions Seguya Asad1, Md. Abdullah-Al-Mamun2, Che Kum Clement3

Department of Technical and Vocational Education, Islamic University of Technology 1 E-mail: sgyasad@yahoo.co.uk , abmamun@iut-dhaka.edu2, chekum@iutdhaka.edu3 Abstract With the creation of Social Networking Sites, colleges and universities across the globe have been playing catch-up with students. This new technology carries much weight as a new medium for students to build social connections and grow as members of their institutions [1]. With the aim of exploring the effect of social networking sites to the lifestyles of teachers and students in higher educational institutions, this research was conducted at four private universities in Bangladesh and one university in Uganda. A sample of one hundred teachers and one hundred students was respectively selected from four private universities in Bangladesh and one university in Uganda. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied during data analysis. The results indicated that social networking sites had several impacts on the lifestyle of students and teachers with the positive effects outweighing the negative effects. The findings confirmed that students can formulate group discussions so as to exchange their ideas, communicate to their teachers and appeal to their friends about assignments. Teachers share course related materials with their students, enables research work, creates student groups to collaborate on projects and communicate with their fellow teachers from other universities. So the principal conclusion was that the use of social networking sites should be incorporated into teachers’ and students’ lifestyles as its beneficial nature takes over its adverse side. Keywords: Social Networking Sites, Academic Lifestyle, Higher Educational Institutions

Effect of Social Networking Sites

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1 Introduction
The critical role of interaction in learning is reinforced by the addition of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) to the academic community. Therefore, the addition of social network augments the learning community rather than providing an alternative to it, resulting in overall enhancement of the learning environment [2]. Social Networking Sites can be defined as: Sites that allow individuals to (i) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (ii) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (iii) view and traverse their list of connections with those made by others within the system. The nature of these connections may vary from site to site [3]. Every technological innovation has been a topic of debate and center of researchers’ attention and same is the case with the development of SNSs. Various researchers have conducted studies to pinpoint the several impacts of these sites on their users and findings suggested both bright and dark aspects. It has been found that excessive usage causes many psychological, physical, interpersonal and educational problems to users [4]. Numerous studies have also been conducted to delineate the impact of SNSs on young generation and students [5]. This current study specifically aims at exploring the effects of SNSs on the lifestyles of teachers and students in higher educational institutions so would be a value addition to this research area.

1.1 Academic Benefits of Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites have become increasingly integrated into the way many people today act, think, and relate to each other. Social networking has a multitude of implications in the field of education and these impacts on students, educators, administrators, and parents are similar [6].

Fig1: Multi-directional communication enabled by SNSs; Source:...
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