LATVIAN STUDENTS' DESIRE TO USE SOCIAL NETWORKS TO THE LEARNING PROCESS—A GOOD INCENTIVE TO CARRY OUT SUCH RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITIES
“Samsung’s future school” student survey, which took place in February 2014, found that 75% of Latvian students in favor of using social networks to communicate not only with friends but also with teachers and learning useful information. This survey was conducted teacher training programs in digital “Samsung School Future” program (2014). Online “Draugiem. lv” filled in a 713 pupils aged 12 to 18 years.
The most common social network “Facebook,” “Twitter,” “Draugiem. lv” and another networks see the benefits of training of students in situations where for various reasons have impeded school hours and follow up remotely. In this way students can quickly learn the latest study material, get advice, teacher comments and information about homework. Also, students would like to build a virtual environment of like-minded groups, discussions and “brainstorming,” discussing the subject matter and the common class entertainment. Almost a quarter of or 36% of the students assess the social networks as a good platform to look for learning useful reading material, view videos, photos and listen to audio reflections, or “podcasts.” A similar number of respondents in the social networks choose to play educational computer games, participate in after-school counseling and contact with different fields of expertise. However, only 13% of the students themselves are interested in building a digital learning materials.
Learning digital skills teachers can diversify teaching methods and to develop creative, innovative and curiosity-enhancing training materials. The students are interesting to perform tasks online and to operate in an unusual environment. Social networks help to motivate students to learn, and that is also good for data selection training, formulation of evaluation and opinion. The challenge of teachers, however, is a task of social networking evaluation system developing, otherwise the pupils’ interest fades. Although students will be happy to communicate with teachers, social networks and one-third choose to follow his teacher, but the majority of students (67%) would not want teachers to keep track of them. About a quarter of students surveyed believe that social networks have their private space, not intended for teachers and students do not want them to reveal their thoughts and views on personal issues.
Some years ago, U.S. researchers conducted a study on the basis of the results and concluded that the best way to build a digital technology- based learning environment (Kim, 2009). Methods, which integrate digital technology may vary depending on the types of technologies available, teachers ‘expectations of pupils’ needs and academic research purposes. In a study designed to assess the fifth and eighth grade students’ reading skills, it was discovered that some students of literary and linguistic skills performance has improved, thanks to the enhanced use of digital technology (Kim, 2009).