1 University of Rome "Foro Italico" (ITALY)
2 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 4099-4108
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1099
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
In Italy, teachers from different levels of school often tend to look suspiciously and ignore the potential of social networks as a means for teaching and learning. Teachers only rarely look at social networks as environments able to foster interaction and educational communication with their students. Therefore, the first objective of this study is to understand what perception Italian teachers have on social networks. The second one is to build a pedagogical model for helping teachers conceive social networks as educational tools useful for their daily teaching. Moreover, within the two main objectives mentioned above, the study aims to understand whether teachers attribute an educational value to social networks.
In this regard, we have conducted a case study on a sample of 732 in-service teachers (370 males and 362 females aged between 32 and 63 years old) from different Italian high schools in central Italy with a very varied disciplinary background. These teachers were attending a refresher course on ICT and E-learning tools in a training center in Rome. The course was organized in collaboration with a public university. Before the course, teachers were administered a questionnaire to test their being familiar with social networks. Afterward, during the course, teachers were invited to getting more familiar with social networks by developing specific skills dealing with their use and to reflect, through activities supervised by instructors, on the educational potentialities of social networks in the classroom.
Teachers were required to note down their reflections in course diaries. After having built a model of analysis for textual categories derived from the communicative analysis approach of symbolic interactionism, the narratives from diaries were analyzed through a text analysis program. This analysis has allowed not only the extraction of data useful for understanding the teachers' perception of social networks but also requirements and characteristics the teachers consider essential to conceive of social networks as educational tools provided with values and pedagogical potential. Also, the analysis of the narratives has allowed us to build an exhaustive conceptual map of the categories that, in the opinion of teachers, define the pedagogical value of a social network. Finally, in the conclusion of the study, from the nodes, concept maps, and categories identified, a conceptual decalogue was sketched as a prelude to a possible model of educational use of social networks by Italian teachers in their daily teaching.
Teachers, education, social networks, e-learning.