Social Media and Literacy Development Article Critique

Pages: 8 (2279 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: Doctoral  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] She eventually decided on a group of 11th grade students who were all active within a single English classroom. This, she explains, was a microcosm for a larger social demographic that could be more easily studied and controlled. In all, 47 students in a single classroom were enrolled in the study.

There is a very thorough discussion of the procedural details of the study. Essentially, Ronda (2011) created an educational application called My Writing Circle that was a group on Facebook to help 11th grade student participate with each other in reading and writing activities online. The students were allowed to share content in a number of multimedia forms, including artifacts, videos, and a collaborative wiki that each student could engage in ad content to. Data was then collected "online through Facebook and My Writing Circle, and physically in the school through observations, logs, and interviews with the participants" (Ronda, 2011). In the classroom, Ronda used interviews and observations as her primary data collection method. From an online perspective, a digital log of the students' Internet activities was generated for each student. Moreover, student activities in the My Writing Circle were gathered and kept for the later review of the data to formulate results. Although this data collection method is quite abstract, it is thorough based on that she is attacking the situation from both an online and offline perspective. Still, more quantitative measures might have strengthened the data collected and the later results derived from that data. It was also not quite clear how internal and external validity was addressed in the study. This makes some of the data observations questionable.

Due to the study being so abstract and qualitative in nature, Ronda (2011) used a grounded theory methodology for interpreting her findings. She used the coding and categorizing measurements presented by Corbin & Strauss (2008) to interpret the abstract data observed within the context of the study. This is a great method for such an abstract study, as it allows connections to be drawn by making categories and concepts from the observed data and does not rely on quantitative statistical analysis since the data is not so easily defined in quantitative measurements. She used open coding as a way to spell out frequent concepts that led to the development of themes within the interviews and student generated content. Overall, 215 codes were generated, developed in word clouds to show their relation to one another. This led Ronda (2011) to develop a total of eight salient themes that connected all the concepts she had pulled out through the grounded theory analysis of the abstract data. She discusses each student who participated in great detail, which helped her generate her coding practices.

Overall, Ronda (2011) determined that the increased engagement required in Web 2.0 social media platforms is a good way to increase positive developments in literacy. It allows students to engage more actively, which then opens them up to greater learning potential. Thus, social media can be harnessed to provide real and positive results in promoting literacy development in high school students. However, there was an unintended consequence of this study to create the notion that social media may be impracticable to use in a real classroom. It was quite difficult for teachers to control their students' behavior on social media sites like Facebook. Ultimately, social media can be a powerful tool; however, it may be best to use social media platform specifically designed for educational purposes in order to avoid some of the downfalls of having students become distracted by Facebook. The negative reputation of Facebook is hard to control in the classroom. Therefore despite teacher supervision, 11th grade students did get distracted by the lure of Facebook use it for non-educational purposes.

There was a strong summary which broke down some of the findings in a more concise manner, making it easier for the reader to interpret than some of the findings in the larger student analysis sections. The summary and final thoughts sections help break down the more abstract concepts brought up throughout the context of this dissertation in more direct and meaningful statements. This ultimately helped reinforce some of the findings that were presented in more complicated and abstract language beforehand.

This research is only a starting point for understanding how social media platforms can be used to facilitate literacy development. Ronda (2011) only focused her study on a single classroom, which could leave open potential limitations in trying to take her overall findings and applying them to a larger student population across cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Future studies would benefit from increasing the size… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Article Critique:

APA Format

Social Media and Literacy Development.  (2014, March 7).  Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-media-literacy-development/6241416

MLA Format

"Social Media and Literacy Development."  7 March 2014.  Web.  20 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-media-literacy-development/6241416>.

Chicago Format

"Social Media and Literacy Development."  Essaytown.com.  March 7, 2014.  Accessed February 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-media-literacy-development/6241416.