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An analysis of Facebook intensity and privacy management practices of public school educators in the United States DISSERTATION

, Mercer University, United States

Doctor of Philosophy, Mercer University . Awarded

Abstract

Social networking sites like Facebook continue to gain popularity among all segments of the population (boyd & Ellison, 2007; Madden & Smith, 2010). Public school employees all over the country are finding themselves facing disciplinary action due to participation in this fast growing fad. The problem is that there is a lack of clarity in the areas of policy and practice regarding SNS (Butts, 2008; Carter et al., 2008; Eltringham, 2010; Foulger et al., 2009; Garland, 2009; Madden & Smith, 2010; Openhuizen, 2008).

The researcher accessed educators who use Facebook through groups on Facebook associated with education. Participants completed demographic questions, the Facebook Intensity Scale (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe, 2007) and the Facebook Privacy Management Measure (Child, Pearson & Petronio, 2009) by way of an online survey provided through Google Forms. The researcher analyzed the data in order to describe the general level of educator Facebook intensity and the three domains of their privacy management: boundary permeability, boundary ownership and boundary linkages and found significant inverse correlations between Facebook intensity and age as well as boundary permeability and age. A significant positive correlation was found between Facebook intensity and boundary permeability. Significant differences were found between males and females on boundary ownership and boundary linkages.

Increased understanding of the attitudes and ethics of this area might lead to greater clarity, better policy, and sounder bases for administrative decision-making in this area. The information gained from this study can assist school leaders when providing professional learning regarding the appropriate use of SNSs for both instructional and personal use. Finally, the results of this study can provide instructional technology leaders with new ways to effectively use Facebook as an instructional tool or to inform the design of new social networking technology that better fits within the culture of the educational institution.

More research is needed in order to have a clear and rich understanding of the ways that educators interact with Facebook. An analysis of other demographic variables may result in a greater depth of information. Research using a qualitative approach could generate a greater understanding of the reasons why educators use Facebook or other social media in the ways that they do. Legal research could be conducted because the law is not clear regarding an educator's duty of care when it comes to knowing what current or former students are publishing from their private lives on SNSs.

Citation

Neely, L.S.P. An analysis of Facebook intensity and privacy management practices of public school educators in the United States. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Mercer University.

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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