Teachers argue that social media disrupt the educational process. We — and many students — disagree. Read on why social networks are good and why we need to use them for learning.
We bet the last time you’ve used any social networking sites (SNSs) like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube was… let’s say, 3 minutes ago, maybe even less. And that’s no wonder — they are everywhere, they beep and buzz, they send you notifications every time, they’ve become an integral part of our lives. When we’re talking about the students, it’s even more noticeable.
They search for information on social networks, they socialize there, and since the Covid pandemic outbreak, they receive their online education thanks to social media. But that’s not the whole list of perks that the college or school students — and teachers, too — get when they use it. In this article, we’ll discover why the role of social networking sites is important in modern college education in more detail.
Reasons Why Social Media Is Useful for Classes
While social networks receive plenty of negative comments from teachers arguing that their use only makes students lazier and distracts them from learning, it’s only partially true. Yes, they do sit on the phone a lot, scroll the newsfeed and stuff, but they also can use it for studying. One remark, though: if teachers integrate social media in a way that doesn’t go against the primary focus, which is getting useful information. Here’s why SNSs can be useful.
Social Networks Provide Instant Help
Speaking of help. School teachers have only so much time for helping the class of students, which means the latter are responsible for helping themselves, whether we’re talking algorithm, research, or essay help. So, what do they do? Exactly, they google sources when they need to receive an essay assistance or case study help. Various apps and sites promote their services online thus making the search easy and quick. The best part? They help the students to come to the class prepared.
Social Media Provides Additional Learning Materials
Take online courses for students, for example. Yes, you have to register at their website, apply for a course, and pay upfront to listen to them and get involved in the whole thing but they use their social media for posting bits of information that should interest a student and convince them to submit the form. And this is where the students get creative.
They don’t apply for the course, though they do use the materials they’ve seen in the posts and take it as a starting point for further research for a lesson. By reading the free essays published on the writing agency’s website, they pick up the structuring techniques and overall look of what’s expected from them.
Social media from some language courses provides them with new interesting words or slang that the university teacher might consider too off-top. Like yolo, for instance. These small things help the students learn more and, at least, know what’s written on their t-shirts.
SNSs help with communication between students
As every student knows, classes give you the second most important tool — knowledge and skills. The first one is connections and acquaintances. Social media make it happen. Whether you’re working on the group project or just switch to a new college, there will always a group chat on social media where you’ll discuss the tasks, teachers, and what beer to order for working on the project. The biggest benefit of that? These groups and chats are always with them on their smartphones, which means they’ll read every message faster.
These are three major reasons how SNSs benefit the educational and organization processes at school. Let’s see what teachers can do to make it work effectively.
How to Use Social Media (Without Making the Students Cringe)
1) Use news and posts from SM as case examples.
Social media is verbal and visual, it uses communication strategies and techniques that are nice-to-know for those who study it. For instance, if you teach journalism, you can show an example of how BBC handled (or not really) the story about the Princess Diana fraud interview.
If you teach communications, show how brands develop their voice to reach the biggest growing customer groups to be, the GenZ. And if you teach commercial photography, well, your students probably already follow the best in the business.
2) Use social networks for quick communication.
There is Moodle, of course, but is it working on mobile devices that well? No. Switch to something the class use in case you’ll need to organize them quickly for anything. When you keep it professional and to the point, you’ll get more trust among those who use it for communication day and night.
3) Use it to share your professional tips and techniques.
Other teachers also use social media, so they might look for new approaches to teaching. If you have something to bring to the table, create the page and share your experience with the community. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason somebody will make their practice better.
4) Use it to search for contests and challenges the students can apply for.
Not like the bucket challenge or Tik-Tok dancing. There are plenty of contests (photo contests, in particular) that are advertised on social media in many spheres and your students can participate in them. First, it will be a cool experience for them and it will improve their will and desire to achieve results. Second, they can win and get the prize. Win-win situation, right?
5) Use it to keep teaching modern.
You might say that if you teach Physics or Math, there isn’t much about that online. Well, how about Tesla or NASA news about electric cars and trips to Mars? What about discoveries in biotechnologies? Social media can be used at least for news, for making the students understand that science isn’t dead and it’s developing at a fast pace.
Social media is probably the best friend for teachers and students as it provides plenty of opportunities for the learning process to be modern, effective, and organized. The best part? These sites are free, available, and loved by the students. All one needs to do is to use it wisely and to the point.