School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Daniel N. Baer

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Information Science; Education, Secondary; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Teacher Training


digital immigrant, social media, sociocultural


Communication Technology and New Media | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Sociology | Teacher Education and Professional Development


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to describe how digital immigrant teachers perceive the influence of social media on the affective and cognitive development of students at three high schools in Alabama. As the prevalence of social technologies is increasing, educators must understand how it is affecting students in order to instruct students and utilize technologies in an effective manner. Thus, a phenomenological study should inform teacher practitioners on how to address concerns and issues associated with social media in order to positively influence the learning environment. Ten teachers were selected from one private and two public high schools in Alabama. Data was collected through interviews, observations and focus groups. Data was analyzed through transcendental analysis consisting of horizontalization, describing, classifying, and interpreting in order to develop themes; textural and structural descriptions were developed in order to determine the essence of the phenomenon. While negative aspects such as the prevalence of "drama," poor interpersonal communication skills, and improper writing in formal settings were voiced, digital immigrant teachers acknowledged collaboration, the potential for enhanced teacher-student relationships, and an additional communication forum as positive implications for social media. Keywords: digital immigrants, digital natives, socially interactive technology (SIT), social networking media (SNS), social media, socioculturalism/sociocultural psychology.