Use of Social Networks as an Educational Tool
Social network, particularly Facebook, can be defined as a unique online service, platform, or area where social communication and/or social relations can be established and individuals intensely share information. This definition implies that communication specialists should have more expertise and interest in social media than any other group of experts. Based on this assumption, the present study investigated the views and attitudes of instructors in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Anadolu University in Turkey, which is a country where the total number of Facebook users ranks fourth in the world. The sample of the study consisted of 67 professors with various levels of academic titles. Data were gathered through a specially-designed survey form including 52 items in four subcategories. Results suggest that three fourth of instructors have a Facebook account and they spend less than half an hour per day on Facebook. There is no gender-related difference among the faculty in terms of attitudes toward Facebook. Instructors who are younger than 45 years old login Facebook on daily basis, while senior faculty login several times a week. Two in every three instructors use Facebook mainly as a tool of communication with friends. Finally, two thirds of the faculty think that Facebook can provide important contributions to social interactions among students as well as to communications between instructors and students.