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Rey outlines his 2012 study “Putting twitter to the test: Assessing outcomes for student collaboration, engagement and success”, in which he finds that the use of Twitter in educationally relevant ways can increase student engagement and even lead to better grades. He explains that students get a lot more excited about using social media for class discussions than learning management systems like Moodle, Blackboard, or Desire2Learn. In his research, Rey also found that the quality of discussions about class material is better on social networking sites than on learning management systems.
This year, Rey wants to study how online anonymity may allow introverted students to feel more comfortable being creative, voicing their opinions and experimenting in online spaces. Scholars refers to this as the “online disinhibition effect” which, as Rey explains, would be when normally shy students who wouldn’t risk saying something “dumb” in the physical classroom, may feel less anxious about sharing anonymously or pseudonymously online. Rather than focusing on the incivility (such as cyberbullying and name calling) that media often associate with online anonymity, Rey’s goal is to focus on such positive opportunities. He hypothesizes that when otherwise inhibited students receive responses to the thoughts they share or questions they ask online, it will give them validation. In turn, this may encourage them to share their thoughts and ask questions in the classroom and other physical spaces.
- Purdue UniversityAssociate Professor, 2013 - present
- Berkman Center for Internet & SocietyFellow, 2013 - present
- Berkman Center for Internet & SocietyYouth and Media Lab Mentor, 2011 - present
- Berkman Center for Internet & SocietyFaculty Associate, 2012 - 2013
Rey Junco is an Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Rey's primary research interest is using quantitative methods to analyze the effects of social media on youth psychosocial development, engagement, and learning. His research has focused on informing best practices in using social technologies to enhance learning outcomes. Rey has found that technology, specifically social media like Facebook and Twitter, can be used in ways that improve engagement and academic performance. Currently, Rey is investigating the ability to use trace data (seemingly irrelevant data collected through natural uses of technology) in order to provide real-time and unobtrusive prediction of student outcomes. Rey is also interested in examining how social media affect interpersonal relationships, identity development, online discourse, digital inequalities, and how the use of digital media promotes formal and informal learning. He blogs at blog.reyjunco.com
- Pennsylvania State UniversityCounselor Education
- Pennsylvania State UniversityClinical Psychology
- University of FloridaPsychology