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New research at the faculty of Instructional Technologies

Israeli teachers like to use the messaging mobile application WhatsApp to keep in touch with their students and are reluctant to use Facebook. This is one of the results of two researches conducted under the supervision of Dr. Hagit Meishar-Tal from the Faculty of Instructional Technologies at HIT –Holon Institute of Technology.
One of the researches, that was condacted by Shachar Brooks and Sivan Giora, deals with the habits of teachers who use WhatsApp.
It was conducted using in depth interviews with high school teachers in central Israel, who participated in WhatsApp groups with their students. 50% of them have said that the application is a useful tool for sending important messages to their students. The teachers also said that WhatsApp can help shy students to get over their shyness and contributes to raising their their self-esteem.
From the teachers' point of view, this form of communication helps them stay up to date with their students' world and be more accessible to them.
In the other research, that was condacted by Yarden Bareket and Timor Nissim which dealt with Facebook usage among teachers and students, the results show that most of the teachers have created a Facebook page for personal use, not for connecting with the students. Another result that arises from this research is that teacher activate many privacy settings including blocking their Facebook page in order to maintain their privacy.
Dr. Meishar-Tal "the major difference between Facebook and WhatsApp , is that while the use of the application does not expose the students to their teachers' personal lives, the social network does that and blurs the boundaries between personal and professional, therefore WhatsApp is considered more suitable means of communication between teachers and students"
The full article was published in Maariv's website