Gender Differences and Middle School Students’ Views of Smartphone and Social Media for Learning, Social Connection, and Entertainment

ID: 43319 Type: Virtual Poster
  1. Jenny Wakefield and Leila Mills, University of North Texas, United States
  2. Anna Wakefield, Jasper High School, United States

Abstract: Both educators and researchers have lately shown increasing interest in use of mobile devices and social media for learning. Researchers seek to discover how these technology tools are best used, mostly used, and how they contribute to social presence through collaboration when used in both formal and informal learning environments. Up-to-date, research has, however, focused on university students and their habits. How smartphones and social media are used by the younger generation of current Middle School students in formal and informal settings has not been studied in detail. With this in mind, this survey research looked at Middle School students and their use of these tools for learning, social connection, and entertainment. We share that girls already in their young teens are highly attached to their smartphones, have higher perceptions of social media’s benefits for learning, and also enjoy using social media significantly more than boys.

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