01 Jun Social Media in Education – June 14
By Diana Turnip
“There are many more ways to learn outside school than within.”
Social medias, such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are often seen as the key driver of communications and marketing. In this article, we will look at the impact of Social Media on the education sector. In education, universities, colleges & schools are striving hard to build a good social presence using Social Media to maximise student enrollments, alumni engagement and increasing media outreach.
In earlier days, learning in schools was about daily lectures on various subjects and topics; and students using their textbooks as their only source of knowledge. You had no Google or any social media website like Youtube, Twitter, Wikipedia etc to help if you didn’t understand a lesson given by the class teacher. The only alternate to a school teacher was home tuitions but that used to take away precious hours from the time that we could’ve put in the things we truly loved, such as playing football, music, dancing and doing things that every kid or teenager wants to do in this age.
A New Generation of Communicators
The students of today are big communicators through emails, social media and instant messaging. They are more connected to the outside world than how much we were at their age. If they have a question today, they will not wait for another day to go to the school and ask teacher. They will access the information on their smartphone in a matter of few seconds. No matter where the student lives, he/she has access to the best teachers of the world. Social Media has bridged the gap between students and the highest quality study material they need for learning.
Let’s see few practical ways on how social media has flipped the conventional teaching model and make classroom & homework experience meaningful for students.
Like it or not – students would prefer their teachers more in a video on their computers, Macs, iPads or Smartphone device than in the real classroom. Because they have better control on their lecture (and the teacher) when it’s a video. They can’t rewind a teacher 10 times in the classroom, they can’t pause the lecture in a real classroom to get a cup of coffee. It’s embarrassing for a student to interrupt a teacher in a real class and ask to repeat because he/she didn’t understand.
Facebook is based on real names and authentic identities. That’s the reason why Facebook is not only the most popular but also the safest social network for young students. It requires that its registered users represent who they are in the real world. If anyone discovers a user posing as someone else, they can report it to Facebook. There are three major types of accounts on Facebook: pages, groups, and profiles. Profiles are designed for individuals, so recommended that organisations use either pages or groups to maintain a Facebook presence.
Twitter helps teachers and students to create their own learning network. It gives them the opportunity to find and connect with the lives of people around the world who can help them take their learning & teaching experience to the next level.
The biggest challenge for anyone who is just getting started with Twitter is how to filter out the information that’s important from million of tweets out there. The best way to do this is by doing educational hashtag searches in applications such as Tweetdeck or HootSuit. By using hashtags, you can keep up with what others are talking about. For example, you can search for #edtech for education technology related discussions on Twitter.
When kids are engaged, they learn better. That’s why educators are using Instagram to share information and connect with their students, parents, other educators, and Instagram community. Teachers can use Instagram to creatively announce homework assignments, share classroom experiences with the help of pictures, by creating student engagement opportunities – Photo essays, caption writing etc.