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Can Twitter and Facebook help students focus in class

Social media platforms and messaging tools such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have become the bane of many teachers’ existence over the past decade – creating a world of digital distractions for many students. Such disruptions have led to a number of schools banning mobile phones and tablet devices, and enjoying improved academic progress as a result.

Multiethnic People Discussion Meeting Social Media Concept

So it’s perhaps surprising that leading academics at Miami University have suggested allowing students to tweet and text in class could help pupils concentrate and engage more actively with the subject.

An academic report suggested that students were more likely to engage with the subject matter when presented on a medium with which they feel most comfortable. The report goes on to say that encouraging students to interact with one another via social mediums could help them retain information more regularly and encourage them to interact with one another about the lesson and the subject.

The academic paper explained: “Even if students are responding to messages from others, if that activity is related to class content, those students will take better-quality notes than students responding to unrelated content.

“This relationship occurs because the related content allows students to engage in behaviours similar to note-taking: focusing on the material at hand, processing that material to determine key parts, and recording the important information. The only difference is these students are writing this information on their phones and, afterward, writing it on paper.”

Hand Over Digital Tablet

Implementing progressive use of social media in the classroom would necessitate significant monitoring and restriction – removing the student’s opportunity to use the technology for non-educational purposes. The paper continued to explain how texting and tweeting about subject unrelated to the classroom could interrupt learning.

A school looking to implement social media usage into the classroom will have to carefully plan how best to introduce the technology to the students – giving teachers the capacity to comprehensively monitor and control the content students can access and share.

At Innova Design, our experienced design team work with schools across the UK to create learning environments which encourage better communication and improved engagement.


For greater insight into how Innova Design Group could help you maximise the potential of your classrooms, visit our Case Studies page or give our dedicated team a call on 0161 477 5300.