Digital Media Platforms and Education: The Uses of Social Networking in the UAE and China

Badreya Al-Jenaibi


Young people today are growing up in a digitalized environment.  What challenges do they face in navigating this content-rich, symbolic environment? In this article, the researcher reviews university students' perceptions of media literacy by examining the use of social networking platforms (SN) in academic settings. The researcher distributed 1200 surveys evenly split between Chinese and UAE students and 998 were returned and analyzed. The findings reveal that while many students believe that media literacy should become a priority in modern curricula, this urgency is not felt by the majority of students.  The researcher reviews current views and methodologies in the literature related to media literacy and its status in current pedagogy.  The study draws from gravitation theory to place the use of SN tools within a broader background of communication.  The Uses and Gratification Theory is also invoked to explain how SN was made attractive to campus activists and protesters in the two countries.


Social media; pedagogy; social networking; media literacy and education; digital media and education

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