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Social Media Use Amongst Teachers

Posted by Annie Johansen on July 27, 2016 at 8:22 AM

Social media has become ubiquitous in today’s world, as nearly 80% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. While traditionally these platforms have been used for personal use, they are increasingly becoming key to professional lives -- including teachers.  

We recently conducted a survey asking you how you use social media personally, professionally and as a communication tool with parents and students.  The findings based on the thousand K-8 teachers that responded are incredibly interesting. Here are the highlights:

Social media is not widely used to communicate with students or parents

  • One in five teachers use social media on a monthly or more frequent basis to communicate with students or parents, with Google + the most widely used platform.
  • Some teachers do use Twitter and Facebook to communicate; 13% and 12% respectively

For personal use, Facebook is the clear winner amongst teachers.

  • Seventy-one percent of teachers use Facebook daily for personal use, followed by Google + (33%), Pinterest (32%), Instagram (27%) and Twitter (18%).
  • The differences narrow with weekly use, with 82% logging onto Facebook weekly, followed by Pinterest (69%), Google + (49%), Instagram (40%) and Twitter (32%).

Pinterest has the largest correlation between professional and personal Use; Facebook the smallest

  • While 69% of teachers use Pinterest weekly for personal use, 67% use weekly for professional purposes.
  • Facebook, on the other hand, is used for professional purposes by just 44% of teachers weekly vs. 82% for personal use.

Where you teach reflects your social media habits both personally…

  • Teachers in the West use Facebook the least for personal use, with  65% logging in daily; in the Midwest, that number jumps to 76%
  • Teachers in the Northeast use Google+ daily for personal use, 17 percentage points more than those in the Midwest (37% vs. 20%).
  • Nearly twice as many teachers in the Midwest (40%) use Pinterest daily for personal use compared to the Northeast (20%)

...and professionally

  • Teachers in the West are least likely to use Google + daily for professional use (17%) compared to other regions, where on average 28% of teachers do so.
  • Daily Pinterest use for professional purposes is highest in the South (34%), and lowest in the Northeast (20%)

Age is more than just a number

  • Our survey found significant differences between teachers in varying age groups when it comes to social media habits.
  • Google + is much more popular with the 50+  crowd, with 51% of teachers in this age bracket using the platform daily, compared to just 18% of those 29 and younger
  • Forty-four percent of 29 and younger and 33% of 30-49 year olds use Pinterest daily compared with just 21% of those 50 and older

Do you agree with these findings, based on your experience? We’d love to hear more about your social media habits in the comment section.

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