Social Networking Platforms and Classroom Culture

Thi Hien Quyen Van, James Underwood, (Elly) Li Tai

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates how social networks affect classroom culture in secondary schools. It combines personal reflections from us as professionals, who have worked in schools and in universities in a range of different countries and contexts, with the use of research written over the last decade into this area. Stylistically this article is a conceptual article - it has a strong reflective element and its purpose within the wider academic and professional community is to generate discussion among professionals rather than to find definitive conclusions. Classroom culture is commonly divided into four dimensions: group attitudes and behaviours toward learning, group attitudes and behaviours towards interaction with peers, teacher attitudes and behaviours towards students and instruction, and parental behaviours towards children and the teacher. This framework underpins this article. Even though social networks play an important part in young students’ lives globally, most studies into the usage of social networks for education have been conducted at the level of higher education and only a few studies focus on school level. This paper therefore focuses on school level usage and possibilities. The paper concludes that whatever our views on social media, the reality is that Facebook and its many counterparts are part of current culture and are already being used by many teachers globally as learning tools. Given that they can have both negative and positive impacts on classroom culture and are becoming an inevitable part of many young students’ lives, schools have limited options. The first one is to ban social networks to make sure that there are no consequences, and this is the case in a wide range of systems and jurisdictions. However, other approaches, which can be a frequently found globally, include a managed approach to Facebook – with course, class or even teacher pages – often entirely separate to the individual teacher’s personal page.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-150
Number of pages13
JournalPolish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2021


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