Education and Social Media: How are they Interlinked

Allying education with social media to extract benefits sounds bizarre to the majority. This is what our stereotyped mindsets presuppose instead of assuming this ‘couple’ pragmatically. Social media are considered as profitless and futile by many because people are aware only of its entertaining effect. But social media indeed does reflect back. It is upon an individual to blindfold their mind or recognize the reflected light. So, it’s not the social media which is dark, but it’s us who make it happen.

Again, it is not the social media which illuminates, it is us who make it happen. Had the latter been the case, things would have been quite simple. Now what are the words constructed in our brain the moment we spell out social media? Facebook undeniably  being the first one, coming next to YouTube, Google+, Twitter, Digg, Blogs and so on. Now how deeply and effectively is social media hooked up with education will be cited with varied examples underneath.

Facebook

Zuckerberg’s Facebook has brought about a remarkable revolution. Not mentioning the rundown on Facebook as its popularity is obvious, so let’s shift our focus on its aid in the educational field. Myriads are the ways to use Facebook on educational grounds. One can tune into remote lectures using Facebook.

First of all education should not be confused with mere bookish stuffs because education is not only about learning stuffs but training one’s mind to think. There are various brainstorming games like scrabble, logo games, etc. which also transmit knowledge and education is nothing but knowledge. Teachers can keep students on their toes and prepared for exams by posting activities on Facebook. A famous saying ‘news spread like wildfire’ can now be modified to ‘news spread via Facebook’ thus keeping our general awareness up-to-date. Applications are manifold but it’s again we who implement them.

Potent proof-University of South Florida teacher uses Facebook in class: Alessandro Cesarano, teaches a beginning Spanish class, and uses Facebook for homework assignments and class discussions in lieu of Blackboard. Cesarano says, “I like the Facebook page better than blackboard because students have more access to authentic cultural material, and I don’t have to waste class time teaching them how to use a new program because many of them already use Facebook.”

1

Podcasts

It’s a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for download to a personal audio player.” In other words, it is a digital audio file that is created, shared and heard. A Podcast can also be in the form of videos streamed online, however, video podcast is known as Vidcast or Vodcast. Creating podcast allows students to develop several important skills such as researching, writing, speaking effectively, solving problems, managing time, grabbing attention and improving their vocabulary.

2

LinkedIn

Launched in May 2003 is just another social platform having over 200 million visitors from over 200 countries and territories. It helps in building and maintaining a broader network of professionals with those inside and outside of your industry with people you can trust. One can learn about other companies (schools and Institutions) through Company’s (or Organization’s) Pages on LinkedIn. Students can connect with others in their field of study, network and ask the right questions to gain industry insights. It also gives a platform to receive more exposure by participating in groups and posting questions.

3

Blogs

In its simplest form it is a website with dated entries of articles, textual or otherwise, published on the internet. Combination of social and solitary interaction on blogs promotes critical and logical thinking. The blogging platform lends itself very well by encouraging discussion on a wide range of topics. Using provided comments zone in a blog, students and professors can interact quickly and easily, sharing ideas and encouraging discussions. Understanding how to perform academic research online is extremely important for students today. Blogs have spread its wings on every corner of the internet.

Skype

Too many educators overlook the potential of Skype in the classrooms. Though Skype doesn’t fall exactly into the criteria of social media, it is the one site that can literally bring the outside world right in front of you. You can host authors, visit science labs or talk to pen pals from across the globe. Teachers and kids can have virtual tuition sessions taking the help of this ‘free vehicle’

4

A said earlier, growth of social media will be like birth rate the way it is expanding its dimensions. People often fall into controversies stating social media as a bane in the field of education, but to mark again, everything on the earth has its pros and cons, but it’s the will that resides within us to overweigh the pros.

Coming to feasibility, most of the social networking sites do not charge you which are the brownie point for every one of us. Knowledge is showered abundantly via these tools, but we need to open up our minds to open these taps of opportunities and revolution. The day is not far away when virtual learning would overshadow the traditional learning completely.

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