Social media influence on perception of school climate

Chapter 4

Data Analysis and Discussion

The data were collected to examine the importance of school climate as well as how it influences factors of success among students and staff. The purpose of this study is to determine if and how the quality of the school climate, can be influenced by social media accounts managed by school officials or student representatives. The main aim was to find out whether or not social media can influence high school students and staff perception of school climate. The research also examined the school climate based behavior of office staff and the support they offer to students. The data was also generated on how principals or administration treat students and staff as well as the support they offer. The students also provided information regarding their interaction with teachers and staff and how they help them achieve success. The research also examined the access to tools and equipment as well as the safety of the training. The grounded theory was used to analyze qualitative data from the interviews. As stated by Glaser and Strauss (2017), the theory facilitated review of the collected data, ideas, and concepts that were divided based on the interview question. The data that does not apply to the study phenomenon was excluded from the analysis.


            The comparison between interview response of Social Media Manager from SS4U and that of Public Information Officer for AVUSD indicates that there is a need for a Social Media Manager in AVUSD. The results from AVUSD show that there are three official social media accounts for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but many students and staffs do not often receive information from these platforms. The district has been running the accounts for five years, with the exclusion of Instagram account that was created recently. However, the results show that most of the information from AVUSD is received from email and district website.

Figure 4.1: Percentage of interview response on tools used to receive information from AVUSD

The results indicate that most of the information across the district is shared using emails, which has the highest score of 96.26%. The second medium used is the district website, which recorded a score of 80.22.37%. The position three is AVUSD Mobile App, with 48.87. The lowest scares are that of Instagram account 8.41% and Twitter feed, 2.27%. Based on sharing information through social media platform, a total of 123 participants, 27.03% selected Facebook page as an appropriate tool for receiving information. Table 4.1 below shows how often the tool is used to receive information per week.

  Never Rarely (less than once a month) Monthly Weekly Daily
District Website 3.75% 17 24.72% 112 26.93% 122 26.05% 118 18.54% 84
AVUSD Mobile App 31.93% 137 17.02% 73 16.08% 69 26.34% 113 8.62% 37
District Facebook Page 59.70% 240 10.20% 41 7.71% 31 13.93% 56 8.46% 34
District Instagram Account 89.76% 342 3.15% 12 1.57% 6 2.10% 8 3.41% 13
District Twitter Feed 94.71% 358 2.65% 10 1.32% 5 0.79% 3 0.53% 2
Chalk Talk 19.71% 83 18.05% 76 60.10% 253 1.66% 7 0.48% 2
Email 0.22% 1 0.22% 1 1.78% 8 5.78% 26 92.00% 414
School Staff Meetings 2.03% 9 5.41% 24 46.40% 206 43.47% 193 2.70% 12

Table 4.1: The frequency of the use of the communication platform to receive information

Based on the monthly data, chalk talk emerges as the most common tool used in receiving information with 60.10%, followed by school staff meeting with 46.40%. However, the daily data shows that email is often used with 92.0056% followed by district website with 18.54%. Contrary to the monthly data, chalk talk shows a 0.48% use on daily bases. All 457 participants answered the question.

Q4. I use the following tools to communicate with my students and their families: (Select all that apply.)
Answer Choices Responses
Written Notes 69.11% 311
Telephone Calls 92.44% 416
Email 83.11% 374
Google Classroom/ G-Suite 27.11% 122
Other (please list specific third-party applications) 27.11% 122
Answered 450
Skipped 7

Table 4.2: Response on Tools used to communicate with students and families

The fourth question requires the teacher to indicate the tools used to communicate with students and families. $16 out of 450 participants who responded indicate that telephone call is commonly used by teachers to communicate to the students and families, which a score of 92.44%. The second tool is email with 83.11%, while Google classroom is the last with 27.11%. Others that include Twitter feed, Facebook pages and Instagram share 27.11 percent, which indicates that they are hardly used to reach out students and families. The frequency of how the tools are used in communicating with students and families is shown in Table 4.3 below.

  Never Rarely (less than once a month) Monthly Weekly Daily
Written Notes 14.08% 60 29.34% 125 20.66% 88 27.70% 118 8.22% 35
Telephone Calls 1.13% 5 21.27% 94 29.64% 131 36.65% 162 11.31% 50
Email 8.62% 37 19.58% 84 22.61% 97 36.83% 158 12.35% 53
Google Classroom/ G-Suite 59.25% 205 5.20% 18 6.36% 22 16.18% 56 13.01% 45
Other Third-Party Applications (Listed in Question 4) 63.20% 213 2.37% 8 4.45% 15 16.62% 56 13.35% 45

Table 4.3: How often the platforms are used to communicate with students and families.

The participants’ responses show that Google classroom/G-Suite is the most tool used by the school to reach the students with 13.01%. In this case, social media platforms are under “Other Third-Party Applications with 13.35% daily usage altogether.

School Site Communication and Climate

            The statements from the correspondents were ranked based on the school site communication. 23.41% strongly agreed that they were well informed of district news, while 10.28% disagreed with the statement. 35.53% strongly agree, 57.68% agree, 6.80% disagree that they are aware of the technology the district uses to communicate with them. 46.93%$ agree that they frequently check the district website for information in case of an emergency. Moreover, 42.54% strongly agree that they are subscribed to the district mobile app.  The data from the school climate indicates that 61.45% of the participants strongly agree that they are treated with respect by the district staff and given relevant support. The administration also shows respect to the students since 60.09% strongly agree that they are treated with respect by the administration. However, the school needs to improve on involving stakeholders in decision making since only 25.11% strongly agree that they have inputs in school decisions. based on facilities and safety the school should improve on-site facilities since only 32.15% agree that they are well maintained, while 37.25% feel that the work site is safe and secure.

Areas that Require Development and Social Media Influence

The ranking of the responses based on the area that requires improvement is shown below.

Figure 4.2: Areas that require further development

The data show that 184 out of 371 correspondents believe that instructional technology within the school requires further professional development. The tools may include technological devices that the school uses to communicate with its stakeholders. Cognitively guided instructions and next-generation science follow with 31.81% and 32.35%, respectively. Based on social media usage, the district is underutilizing the interactive forum since the data demonstrates that a low percentage of students and staff receive information via social media platforms.


            Education institutions are adapting development in technological systems that rely on group resources to improve the school environment. The study by Castelló, Etter and Årup Nielsen (2016) shows that social media have been extensively used in education to enable students, staff and parents to get useful information to ensure that learning environment is connected with key stakeholders and other systems that make school climate convenient. According to Neubaum and Krämer (2017), Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide students and institution with multiple opportunities to improve the learning experience. The responses indicate that 80.22% of the information in AVUSD is received from the district website. Therefore, the institution can integrate social media platforms by use of plugins to facilitate sharing of information and interaction (Figueira & Oliveira, 2016). The strategy is useful in increasing social media usage to access information since the record is low, especially for Twitter feed, which is 1.54%. However, based on the usage of information tools, large numbers of correspondents who have never used social media show that social media accounts are not frequently used in the transfer of information. For instance, 59.70% never use Facebook page, 94.71% have never used Twitter feed, while 89.76% have never used Twitter. The most common tool used is email, with 92% daily usage. As stated by Piotrowski (2015), Social Media Account Manager helps in posting and responding to the comments from the users. The integration of social media platforms in communication enables the institution to create better and interactive training strategies that improve student culture and climate of the school.


            The research was based on two interviews conducted on Public Information Officer for AVUSD and Social Media manager from SS4U, which makes the research to rely on a small sample size that may increase error due to the bias of information. Again, it was difficult to make a comparison of two interviews because of highly subjective responses. The method used to collect and analyze information using grounded theory does not include error testing, which influences the validity and credibility of the results.

Chapter 5

Summary and Conclusion

            The purpose of the research was to determine if and how the quality of the school climate is influenced by social media accounts managed by either school officials or student representatives. The study was based on the data from two comprehensive public high schools in the high desert region of southern California. The population of students from both schools was 3,600 in grade nine through twelve. The results were generated to show the importance of school climate and other factors that influence the success of students and staff. The interview was conducted on Public information officer from AVUSD and the response was compared to that of Social Media Manager from SS4U.


The results indicate that the usage of social media platforms in AVUSD is limited since the majority of the information is received via email. The parents and students also receive information through the district website, meaning that social media can be integrated with the website through a plugin to increase their usage. The use of Twitter feeds and Instagram is low compared to that of the Facebook page. The social media account manager will ensure that the information is shared across the platform through a sponsored advertisement. The results indicate that the use of social media influence students and staff perceptions of the school climate. The low usage of the social media platform in AVUSD call for recruitment of social media manager who will ensure that the district’s social platforms are updated continuously to provide information to the school stakeholders.

Implication for Practice 

The current administration is informed by the research that the social media platform are underutilized during news and information sharing. The future management needs to consider the impact and benefits of social media in communication and make good use of the platforms. The communication and advertisement team should enhance the use of social media and suggest for the recruitment of a social media manager.  By having a social media manager, the information will reach a larger number of stakeholders, which will improve the relationship between the administration, staff, and students.

Implications for Further Research

The logical questions arising from the research are: How increased social media usage improves the learning environment? What measures should be put in place to ensure students do not access unethical content through social platforms? What is the role of social media manager in the maintenance and development of social accounts and pages? Since the research suggests for the recruitment of a social media manager in AVUSD, further research is required to explore the role of social media manager in the district’s communication. Rather than using only the qualitative data, future study should involve qualitative approach and statistical analysis tool such as Chi-square to improve the reliability and credibility of results and discussion. Based on the findings of this study, I would recommend further research on the disadvantages of the use of social media among high school students.

Sharing Results of the Project

            The data used in this study was obtained from the two comprehensive interviews from Social Media Manager for SS4U and Public Information Officer from AVUSD, the two agreed to provide information about communication technology and social media used by the organization. The data obtained will only be shared with the research supervisor to give advice on further research requirements. The study provides a solution for the difficulties faced by the district when trying to share the information with its stakeholders.


Castelló, I., Etter, M., & Årup Nielsen, F. (2016). Strategies of legitimacy through social media: The networked strategy. Journal of Management Studies53(3), 402-432.

Figueira, Á., & Oliveira, L. (2016). EduBridge social-bridging social networks and learning management systems.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (2017). Discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Routledge.

Neubaum, G., & Krämer, N. C. (2017). Opinion climates in social media: Blending mass and interpersonal communication. Human Communication Research43(4), 464-476.

Piotrowski, C. (2015). Emerging research on social media use in education: A study of dissertations. Research in Higher Education Journal27.


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