Social media in an educational environment enhances both teaching and learning processes. Various sites and applications facilitate communication and study. They attract potential students and promote social and academic activities. They also raise concerns about privacy and the time people spend on them.
Educators stress the benefits of using social media in schools and universities. So what are the common uses of social media in the classroom, their pros and cons? And what does the future of social communication look like in the education system?
Classroom social media
Regardless of attitude towards particular social sites, many tutors and lecturers use Pinterest, Wikipedia, and YouTube in the classroom. Students use social media to buy essays, not just to chat. They discuss assignments with their peers and receive feedback. Below are some social sites that have been widely used in the learning environment.
Create, share and discuss content
Students and teachers are encouraged to write a Blog. Teachers showcase their skills, which they cannot always do in class. Students exercise their reasoning, analytical and writing skills. Open comments allow you to approach the subject in a more or less informal way. Students learn to express themselves and develop a good reaction.
Youtube is ideal for giving and sharing video assignments. Flickr and pinterest are perfect for photos and illustrations. Students can share their content privately and delete it after the task is graded.
Youtube and Zoom are two main platforms for live streaming conferences and seminars. Both have recently been used for video conferencing.
wiki is also a fantastic tool. It teaches students how to collect, analyze, organize and present information.
School teachers and university tutors use Twitter. They create special hashtags to let students know about activities and deadlines.
Facebook can be useful in many ways. Schools and universities post important news and information on their official pages. Tutors hold live events and lectures there. It’s also the way to connect alumni to their alma mater.
LinkedIn is a not-so-obvious tool for students. Those with a sense of career can dip their toes into the business world early on. They can connect with potential employers, attend job fairs and apply for internships.
One of the problems that schools and universities face is how to attract new students. This is especially serious for educational institutions located in small towns and villages. They have to persuade future students that it is worth coming to study there.
Facebook and Twitter can rise to the challenge, but instagram is the best to build the brand. His stories, and now also his reels, provide insight into campus activities and college life. Sometimes students manage the official Instagram account of the institute. These “takeover days” are very popular. They add a personal touch that attracts future students.
The pros and cons of social media in education
The benefits of using social media in the educational process are obvious. Social media platforms help students complete tasks more and more often. Yet teachers and parents have doubts about its effectiveness.
Social media platforms, with their opportunity to create, share and discuss content,
- empower students;
- improve reasoning and discourse skills;
- improve communication skills;
- build community;
- make the learning process more creative and versatile.
These sites have advanced features that students can master. The modern world is increasingly oriented towards online activities. Social media is great for preparing students for this.
All of these advantages become disadvantages if misused. The empowerment of students leads to their contestation of the teacher’s leadership in the classroom. The development of communication skills can go too far if students perform in their missions hurt because they are distracted. Students impoverish their social skills by limiting their personal interactions to social networks.
Social media has also hurt writing skills. Students see no difference between online lingo and academic language.
Connecting teachers and students on social media has also been a concern. Should teachers become “friends” with their students on Facebook and elsewhere? What private information and content can teachers share on their personal accounts? These issues are addressed on a case-by-case basis by educational institutions. Yet they remain sensitive issues for teachers, students and parents.
Social media: from chat rooms to universities
At the dawn of the digital age, social media was mainly understood as forums, blogs and different hosting services. Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we think about all social sites. They have proven to be a powerful PR tool that can make or break a reputation. The issue of privacy was also highlighted. Then Instagram burst onto the scene. He has taken online content creation, communication, marketing and branding to new heights.
In academia, things move slowly. This is not surprising, given the conservative nature of education systems in most countries. The common opinion is that social media, if used inappropriately, harms the educational process. Yet, there is no denying the fact that students are already on social media. Schools, colleges, and universities also need to go there if they want to get in touch with students.
Thus, the focus shifted to exploring and maximizing benefits. A Facebook profile is now a must for colleges and universities as part of their online PR strategy. Wikipedia has earned a place in the academic citation. It has also proven to be a good tool for collecting and organizing information. YouTube provides unlimited opportunities for tutors of all disciplines to share their expertise and teach students. Front-end technology continues to facilitate the educational process. Studying becomes more interactive, immersive and effective.
The shift to distance learning will only strengthen social media. Until now, it was a catalog of tools that enrich teaching and learning. In the years to come, we will see social platforms challenging the status quo in teacher-student relationships. This will have an additional impact on academic research and conferences. Other aspects of the education system that have not yet been touched by social media will see changes. The best of worlds awaits you.