Social media has become an integral part of society today. It is the next big thing after mobile learning which is the future of corporate training. It does not matter which profession one belongs to, nearly everyone has a presence on social networking websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Mere interaction with this blog means that there are readers who are currently connecting with social media through this blog. It has become imperative today that social media is integrated into classrooms so that learning can be enhanced. Scientific research has shown that social media websites like YouTube are extremely effective tools for teaching and learning.
Role of Social Media as a Learning Tool
Inculcating social media in the classroom ensures that the environment becomes collaborative and an open forum is formed where a vast amount of information is shared across the platform. Students can in this way increase the development of their critical thinking, creative and communication processes in various ways. Social media helps promote self-directed learning and it prepares students in making independent decisions and looking for answers.
How can Social Media be used as a Learning Tool
- Creating a Class Facebook Group
Facebook can become a helpful learning tool where announcements, status updates, videos, and photos can be used for each class. Here the entire class can make their announcements; post updates and reminds the students regarding important deadlines. Parents can also easily access these posts and updates. Students and teachers can also ask questions and answer them. As students reach home and begin doing their home assignment, live questions can be posted on the class group’s wall which can immediately be answered.
- Starting off a Topical Twitter Feed
Twitter is as helpful a learning tool as is Facebook. Quick posts can be made on Twitter regarding class announcements and various reminders including real-time information. Twitter can also provide up-to-date information regarding a specific topic which is being studied in class. The entire class can follow the Twitter of experts on the topic and gain maximum insight.
- Requiring Students to Write Blogs
Many teachers today prefer asking students to write informative blogs instead of conventional writing projects. This not only enhances the writing skills of the students but also allows for the display of writing on a larger scale. Reading each other’s blogs posts can also help create a stronger community by discovering shared reactions and experiences. It also makes their work available on the World Wide Web and it is naturally motivating.
- Posting Student Videos to YouTube
If there is any social media tool that is the most effective in the classroom and online learning both, it is YouTube. It is an excellent option for students where they can watch resources and lectures prior to entering the classroom. It can easily be used to illustrate a few points in the classroom. Students can also create their own material on their own channels or a group channel.
- Showcasing Student Work on Instagram
Instagram can allow showcasing of student work through offering a place for featuring student artwork or even interesting details regarding a student. Students can also post pictures of different items focused over a certain theme or letter.
The benefits of social media as a learning tool cannot be stressed over enough. However, privacy may be a concern when it comes to using social media for educational purposes. It is often recommended for students to read privacy pages of these social media platforms carefully and ensure that class feeds have been set to private settings for protecting students’ work. It is also recommended that parents’ consent is taken prior to posting the work of students online. In short, since students are already employing social media outside the classroom, it becomes easier to integrate it into online training software. It will help students learn best practices for social media and also offers an interesting view into class lessons.