Twitter, cyber-violence, and the need for a critical social media literacy in teacher education: A review of the literature

Nagle, J. (2018). Twitter, cyber-violence, and the need for a critical social media literacy in teacher education: A review of the literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 76, 86–94.


Open access: No

Notes: In this paper, Nagle explores how social media literacy should pay attention to cyber-violence, especially in the context of teacher education. Indeed, the author notes that even as teachers are expected to promote safe spaces for students to discuss and challenge power struggles evident over social media, there has been little discussion about it in teacher education. More specifically, she outlines five strategies to integrate critical social media literacy into teacher education: 1) examining and evaluating social media; 2) examining issues of access and power on participation; 3) discussing participatory technologies as a choice; 4) exploring ways to respond to cyber-violence; and 5) guidance on how to scaffold social media platforms. As the author notes: “Teachers have an ethical responsibility to protect their students, yet they also have an ethical responsibility to enter into difficult conversations with their students to uncover dominant narratives, which exist and shape our existing communications via social media.” (p. 93)

Abstract: Multiliteracies and new literacies pedagogies advocate for expanded ideas of literacy, which focus heavily on the use of digital technologies within the classroom. Yet there is little discussion within the discipline regarding the ethical implications of using social media in teacher education. This is of particular concern given the potential for online spaces to be unsafe. In particular, the social media site Twitter, used and promoted by many educators to collaborate within professional learning networks, is rife with misogyny and racial violence. Through a review of the current literature on social media use in teacher education, and a multi-disciplinary perspective on issues of cyber-violence, I will discuss the ethical implications for teacher educators who want to use Twitter as a pedagogical tool and offer strategies to develop critical social media literacy practices.

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