NetGENgagement: how the net generation college student uses social media in academic and social college experiences

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The landscape of higher education is constantly evolving. Similar to a wave that washes ashore and transforms the shoreline, the same is occurring with higher education and its "shoreline". With

The landscape of higher education is constantly evolving. Similar to a wave that washes ashore and transforms the shoreline, the same is occurring with higher education and its "shoreline". With the influx of technology and social media on college and university campuses, higher education institutions have had to grapple with whether or not to implement the technology (e.g. mobile devices) and the social mediums (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) that accompany these technologies into the academic and social college experiences of the tech-savvy students enrolling in higher education institutions. Higher education's new shoreline is largely being produced by the new paradigms of technology and social media adopted by the Net Generation college student. The forces of the evolving nature of technology are having an enormous impact on higher education practitioners. The prolific transcendence of Smartphones, tablets, and social mediums and the expansion of broadband (e.g. Wi-Fi) are changing student expectations of how higher education practitioners engage, communicate, and connect with the Net Generation college student. The assumption that many higher education practitioners have of social media is that social media primarily consists of Facebook and Twitter. Arguably Facebook and Twitter comprise the primary social avenues students traverse when communicating with friends and family but additionally, these sites can also be utilized for academic and social purposes advantageous to colleges and universities in enhancing the college student experience. The purpose of this study is to understand and describe how the Net Generation college student uses social media in their academic and social college experiences. Through the use of a descriptive analysis, this action research study described how the Net Generation college student uses social media in their academic and social college student experiences.