Dr. Junco is an professor in
LHU professor a top technology innovator
Rey Junco recognized for research on social media and learning outcomes
Feb. 29, 2012
Dr. Reynol Junco of Lock Haven University, Pennsylvania was nominated by readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation's top technology innovators for his groundbreaking research on how social media can be used in ways to improve learning outcomes.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the number one print and online source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faulty, staff members, and administrators.
Dr. Junco is an professor in the department of Academic Development and Counseling at LHU. He is the first and only researcher to conduct a controlled-study of using Twitter in the college classroom. His research has refuted popular media reports about the drawbacks of social media and has found that some ways to use these services are beneficial to students.
“The popular notion that technologies like Facebook and Twitter hurt students is incorrect,” stated Dr. Junco. “My research has not only shown positive benefits, but has uncovered some of the ways these technologies can be used by faculty to minimize negative outcomes and increase positive ones.”
He has also examined how Facebook use is related to student engagement, a construct that is related to multiple positive educational outcomes including student persistence, psychosocial adjustment, and the development of critical thinking skills.
Dr. Junco’s research results reveal that social media use positively correlated to GPA when that student used his or her time on the site mimicking educational behaviors, such as sharing links or gathering information.
Dr. Junco earned his doctorate in education in counselor education from Penn State University. Junco also earned his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Penn State where he studied and conducted research in neuropsychology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida where he studied and conducted research in neuroscience. Dr. Junco is currently seeking funding for a future project that will integrate game dynamics and the earning of badges into large-lecture courses to improve student engagement and attendance.
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.