Social media is often seen as a distraction, something that would lower student productivity. But this is because social media is like any tool if it’s not used correctly it won’t give good results. Sure, social media can be used to connect with friends and family, to waste time chatting with people or discuss meaningless topics. This is what most people use social media for. But it could also be used in a much more productive way and can be used in education. In fact social media is one of the most powerful educational tools we have right now; that’s, of course, if it’s used correctly. When it comes to social media both the educator and the learner need to use it properly to make the most out of it. Some of the ways social media can be used in education are:
- Making a Facebook group: By making a Facebook group for the class, the class announcements, assignments and deadlines can be easily posted and broadcasted to everyone. Students can also help each other out by asking questions, answering them and explaining concepts to each other.
- Making a topical twitter account: A twitter account could be made that talks about a certain topic. Tweeting creative ideas and/or up-to date information and resources for studying. It can also be used to discuss current topic in the news.
- Encouraging students to showcase their work: Making students post their work and showcase it on social media, lets them evaluate each other’s work. It makes them realize and understand the different perspectives of others. All of this makes them more motivated to become more adept at what they do.
- Instagram as an outlet of student creativity: Instagram can be used to showcase the creativity of students. A carefully crafted Instagram class account can showcase student artwork, photos of the students with books or items that interest them; or things they have built. It can be used to broadcast the accomplishments of students. And if it’s masterfully crafted, students will use it as a resource to brainstorm ideas. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Most students and people already use social media in a non-educational way so integrating it into education isn’t hard. And it would make learning more fun and interesting. And it gives students new opportunities and opens new doors for their future. Social media is the world’s largest city and smallest village.
Written by: Osama Waheib