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Mining Social Media Divides: An Analysis of K-12 U.S. School Uses of Twitter

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Learning, Media and Technology Volume 43, Number 3, ISSN 1743-9884


This study utilizes public data mining to explore participation divides of all available K-12 institutional Twitter accounts in the U.S. (n = 8275 accounts, n = 9,216,853 tweets). Results indicated that U.S. schools used Twitter to broadcast information on a variety of topics in a unidirectional manner and that hashtags included a variety of intended purposes, including affinity spaces, education topics, emotive language, and events. Those schools in wealthier, more populated areas were more likely to use Twitter, with wealthy, suburban schools being the most likely to use it and poor, rural schools being the least likely. Furthermore, factors such as charter school status and urbanity influenced the content of school tweets on key issues, with schools in more populated areas tweeting more about coding and college than schools in less populated areas and charter schools tweeting more about college and the politicized educational issue of common core than non-charters. These results reveal participation differences between schools based upon demographics and provides a basis for conducting future large-scale work on publicly available artifacts, such as school tweets, that may be meaningfully used as education research data.


Kimmons, R., Carpenter, J.P., Veletsianos, G. & Krutka, D.G. (2018). Mining Social Media Divides: An Analysis of K-12 U.S. School Uses of Twitter. Learning, Media and Technology, 43(3), 307-325. Retrieved December 14, 2019 from .

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