Eight percent of American adult web users are on Twitter, but only a small number (about 2 percent) of these people use the microblogging site on a daily basis, according to a survey recently conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. There are, however, interesting links between Twitter use and education level; survey results claim that while “college students aren’t flocking to Twitter…they’ve proven more likely to type the 140-character updates than most demographic groups, especially teenagers and young adults.”
Twitter has gained an estimated 100 million users since its launch over four years ago. The survey found that only 14 percent of people age 18-29 use the site; and this number is nearly two times higher than the 30-49 age group. But of the adults surveyed, 9 percent of college graduates use Twitter and an additional 9 percent of users had at least some higher education experience. Twitter use is low among young people, but educated people are more likely than non-educated people to tweet.
Twitter use among college students has actually been shown to increase academic performance. In November, the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning published the results of a study conducted to determine the effect of microblogging on a college student’s GPA. Results concluded that students who used Twitter during and after class to discuss and share academic material actually performed better on exams and had a higher overall GPA than students who did not.
But, the link between Twitter and education could be diminished by the fact that high percentages of Twitter users do not visit the site regularly. Or, if they do, many simply tweet information on their own site, without participating in conversations or reposting. Geoff Livingston, co-founder of social enterprise website Zoetica said that “Twitter dubs itself as an information service, but if no one checks then information is not getting spread as far as one would be led to believe.” So, to use the site for to its full educational potential, students should not only post about themselves, but create two-way dialogues to discuss academic material.
Read the full article here