University of Oulu

Celik, I., Dindar, M. and Muukkonen, H. (2022), "#NotHolidayButDistance Education: a study on social media use for K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 123 No. 5/6, pp. 252-275.

#NotHolidayButDistance education : a study on social media use for K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Author: Celik, Ismail1; Dindar, Muhterem2; Muukkonen, Hanni1
Organizations: 1Learning and Learning Processes Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-09


Purpose: This study aims to explore Twitter posts of Turkish government agencies and the public under a specific hashtag, #NotHolidayButDistanceEducation, specifically related to online distance education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach: This study used a thematic analysis on 22,547 original tweets posted by 6,970 users during the first month of online distance education in Turkish K-12 schools. Based on like and retweet counts, the study further explored the extent of stakeholders’ engagement with the observed themes.

Findings: The findings showed that government agencies and citizens used Twitter to provide technical and psychological support, appreciate and motivate stakeholders, demonstrate sample distance education activities, share information and offer suggestions about the ongoing online distance education. It was also observed that the hashtag has been used for expressing negative views about online distance education and for political purposes. A positive relationship was found between social media engagement and providing technical support or sharing information for online distance education.

Practical implications: This study highlights the role of social media in providing practical and emotional support to education stakeholders in times of crisis. Thus, governments can use social media to provide evidence-based psychological and physical health support to their citizens during a pandemic. Social media can serve to improve education practices in schools through the interactions between the public and policymakers.

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study can be considered unique because it demonstrates the civic use of social media for educational crisis management. This study highlights the influence of social media in educational policy and practice development in the contemporary era.

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Series: Information and learning science
ISSN: 2398-5348
ISSN-E: 2398-5356
ISSN-L: 2398-5348
Volume: 123
Issue: 5/6
Pages: 252 - 275
DOI: 10.1108/ILS-07-2021-0057
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2022, Ismail Celik, Muhterem Dindar and Hanni Muukkonen. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this license may be seen at