Social Media use and Covid-19 in Higher Education: Generation Z versus Millennials

Epameinondas Panagopoulos, Anthi Adamopoulou, Michael Katsillis, Ioannis Kamarianos

Abstract

This study focuses on the pandemic period, during which the relationship between social media and education appears to have been redefined. Due to the pandemic and the extensive liquidity, social media and emergency distance learning and teaching became entrenched. The result of the successive processes that were taking place was the use of different social media as tools, in order to carry out the educational process, which had the students of the Universities. Τhe question that arises concerns the reasons for the use of social media during the pandemic, as well as the contribution to the public sphere. The present study aims to contribute to the discussion on the measures taken and amended at regular intervals regarding the provisions of emergency distance learning and teaching and how they deal with this hybrid process in Higher Education during the pandemic. Another question that this paper aims to answer is whether Millennials could cope with a similar situation and engage in emergency learning and teaching, such as Generation Z - according to the results of this study. Its significance is also enhanced by the fact that according to recent research generation Z, young students currently in the amphitheater, and subsequently future teachers (undergraduate students studying in education sciences) are particularly familiar and well prepared for the use of new technologies. This is the main reason that the sample was selected from the university student population. More concretely, our research is implemented using techniques from the multi-method approach toolkit – as research data collection tools, the questionnaire and the semi-structured interview were used. The sample of the survey includes future teachers – undergraduate students of the Department of Education Sciences and Social Work of the University of Patras. More specifically, 145 students participated, and sampling was carried out between March and May 2020. Regarding the Millennials, the 2010 sample includes 55 students who studied in the same department and University as the 2020 sample participants. We will proceed with a comparative approach of the two samples to clarify our goal. As a critical finding of this study, we can present the successful adaptation of Generation Z to emergency distance learning and teaching and, at the same time, the possible weakness of Millennials in a similar case.

Keywords

Education, social media, pandemic, covid-19, university students

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/aca.4359

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