Research Problem Statement
In modern Saudi Arabia, the impact of social media on society cannot be denied or neglected. This phenomenon has already changed the way of how people communicate, develop business, and share information (Jankauskaitė, 2015). Social media may determine learning and teaching activities. Alqahtani (2016) proves that many Saudi academic facilities are ready for successful implementation of social media as a pedagogical instrument. However, such concerns as a variety of social networking devices in the classroom, the impact of age and seniority on the adoption of tools, and the lack of instructional practice and training may challenge social media as a teaching tool (Manca & Ranieri, 2016). This study aims to discuss the attitudes of Saudi teachers towards using social media to promote their activities and explore the barriers that may influence this type of learning in the classroom in order to develop an instructional design that supports social media as an effective teaching tool.
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The main gap in the existing literature about instructional design, social media, and classroom activities is that different authors are ready to introduce their opinions and attitudes without considering their opponents’ views. Thus, the diminution of the role and impact of recent studies and findings is observed. The contradictions of the authors may confuse readers. For example, Acarli and Sağlam (2015) state that teachers’ intentions to use social media in teaching turn out to be the expected outcomes of the constantly developing technological environments. However, Manca and Ranieri (2016) underline that pre-existing instructional practices are not enough to explain the relationships between personal information shared via social media and professionalism required for classroom relationships. An academic population has to understand that social media technologies undergo numerous changes regularly. It is not enough to formulate one statement and keep to all the time.
The discussion of functional traits can help identify the main barriers that Saudi teachers may face when offering this networking to be used in the classroom. For example, sharing information can be a significant contribution to learning and teaching experiences. However, clear instructions, limitations, and requirements have to be discussed and established. Teachers may need additional time and efforts to understand how to organize these activities not at the expense of their classroom work. Building trustful relationships is another achievement that should be mentioned. Teachers have to learn how to control students’ attention in the classroom. Finally, even appropriate training and free time cannot cover the lack of technology tools. Some students may afford themselves buying modern devices, and many students and teachers cannot have such an opportunity. This gap in social status has to be investigated to establish common norms and promote positive attitudes of teachers to support social media in the classroom.
Acarli, D. S., & Sağlam, Y. (2015). Investigation of pre-service teachers’ intentions to use of social media in teaching activities within the framework of technology acceptance model. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 176, 709-713.
Alqahtani, S. (2016). Social networking framework for universities in Saudi Arabia. Web.
Jankauskaitė, D. (2015). Social media as a tool for improving teaching and learning experience. Signum Temporis, 7(1), 54-59.
Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016). “Yes for sharing, no for teaching!”: Social media in academic practices. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 63-74.