Social Media & Education
If you have not heard about social media, then you must have arrived from the past with a very important mission and are very much astonished by everything that you see when you look around. Social media is everywhere and they became an integral part of every modern person’s life. In case you are a time traveler and you do not know what social media are, we will explain this to you.
How can social media help teachers and students?
Social media provide people with an opportunity to communicate with the help of technology. Social media are designed for social interaction between people through different electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets, computers, etc. This social interaction is continuous, uninterrupted, and distant. It is not necessary to be in the same room – people can be thousand miles apart and still have the same communication that would have if they run into one another on the street. You might say now that social media are the reason of unhealthy addiction of hundreds of people; however, every medal has its reverse, and with the right approach social media can have more advantages than disadvantages.
The Beauty of Social Media
Today numerous schools and universities are trying to incorporate social media into the process of education. A lot of universities have their own websites where professors upload all the necessary materials for students, can communicate with them in case they have questions, can exchange files with them, and upload grades. A lot of professors create forums on the university websites where students can discuss a new chapter or an interesting book or solve some problems that they have faced when they were working on an assignment.
Professors can answer students’ questions and participate in the discussion. This way people have more time to communicate with their fellow students outside the classroom, and professors have a better chance to evaluate each student’s work on the basis of their individual responses. Some professors go further and let student communicate through Facebook or Twitter because these social platforms allow users to see other people’s responses immediately and react to them. With the help of social media students can create new communities, find people who share their interests, and help each other with their studies.
Using Twitter for Educational Purposes
Teachers are exploring the world of technologies and social media just as actively as their students and are constantly looking for the ways to use them to make teaching easier and more engaging. For instance, Twitter has become a very useful tool in the educational process. You might think that an ability to leave 140 characters messages does not make any difference, but in fact people have found a way to make them very helpful. So how can one use Twitter for teaching purposes? To start with, Twitter helps many teachers organize their classes. For example, when the due date for the assignment is in two days or there are some changes in the schedule, a teachers can send a twit to his/her students as a reminder.
A 140 character message works perfectly well for this purpose. Possibly, you found a great website or a brilliant tutorial on YouTube that you know will be very helpful for your students while they are working on a new homework assignment. Of course, you do now want to wait till you meet them in the classroom – all you need is to send them a link on Twitter and let them enjoy your finding. You can ask quick question to your students and use them as quizzes. If you are an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher, then you can use twits as examples of the language which is used on the Internet. This is a great platform which can be used in a sociology or psychology class to explore the modern culture and communication. In other words, there are dozens of ways in which Twitter can be used as an education tool – everything depends on a teacher’s desire to make a class a little more entertaining.
What about Our Favourite YouTube?
Another powerful platform which is used by a great number of teachers is YouTube. With the help of YouTube teachers can switch to the flipped classroom model. This model allows teaches to give their students all the necessary materials before the class so that students could work on their homework and other exercises during the class. How do teachers provide their students with the information? With the help of videos, of course. And YouTube is the best medium which allows people to upload videos for public access. YouTube offers users thousands of videos that can help students in their education process. If you use it right, you will be amazed by the result.
Pinterest Is Getting More Popular
Another great platform that has been gaining its popularity since 2008 and that is extremely popular today, Pinterest, can also be successfully used for the purpose of education. As we all know, Pinterest allows us to collect certain content that people can comment and share. So, for teachers this tool might be very helpful because they can organize pictures and videos that their students will use at home working on their projects, or they can exchange ideas with other teachers. If you are thinking about a group project, you can always create a community board which will let both you and your students work on its content.
Since social media are so important in our lives now, we should definitely consider using them for educational purposes because they can help us make this process easier and much more entertaining.