The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 20th, 2015
Who says Facebook is always a distraction? A new study
suggests that if engaged in online debate, college students can use the
popular social network to learn and develop a variety of skills.
In a paper released on Monday, Christine Greenhow, an assistant
professor of education at Michigan State University, argues that using
informal social-media settings to carry on debates about science can
help students refine their argumentative skills, increase their
scientific literacy, and supplement learning in the classroom. Past
studies have shown that informal settings, like conversations with
friends, can facilitate learning, but according to Ms. Greenhow, very
little has been studied about informal online contexts and social
networks, like Facebook applications.