If there’s one field that knows how to adapt quickly, it’s education. Over the past decade, education has seen a rise in technology in the classroom. From a smart classroom to tablets for students, education has figured out how to make learning better through technology.
Teachers know that technology extends beyond the classroom. It is also about teaching students to be responsible users of technology. This includes learning to collaborate and rejecting behavior like online bullying.
Part of this responsibility includes using social media in education. Social media has always been a platform that brings out the best and worst in humanity.
With nearly 95% of teens having access to a smartphone, social media cannot be ignored. Educators can learn how to use social media to enhance education. Here are some ways that social media can be incorporated into a student’s learning experience.
1. Collaboration with Classmates and Others
Social network as a basic concept is about connecting people. Students can connect at any time and ask questions, make phone calls, or exchange ideas.
Students can remain plugged into a classroom, even when they can’t be physically present. Online tools such as Google Docs or Google Classroom make it possible to collaborate across platforms.
Teachers can connect with their classes across social media platforms as well. Some teachers steam content via Facebook Live or share lectures via YouTube.
The collaboration extends beyond the students’ direct classroom. Students can connect with other schools that may be working on similar projects to share ideas. They can work together both intellectually and socially.
Students can also connect with authorities and subject-matter experts online. By finding leaders in fields like math, science, journalism, and music, students can learn from following their social media profiles.
2. Parent and Student Engagement
Some students may be reserved in a classroom setting but find that they are able to express themselves more online. When used appropriately, academic engagement can be increased through the use of social media.
Social media can also be used to increase parent engagement. The school’s Facebook Page or Twitter feed can provide parents with updates on school-related activities. Social media platforms can also be used to promote events and provide information about the event.
Teachers and parents can also communicate via secure online platforms. This can keep parents connected to teachers about a student’s progress, even if they are not able to meet in person. Students can also have access to additional resources through distance learning programs.
3. Online Resources
There are so many resources available that provide quality educational content. Students can discover more about topics in ways that they might not in a classroom.
YouTube and Udemy can provide entire videos about different topics. Facebook and Instagram can be channels for learning facts and commenting on different topics.
The news is now always available and provides instant updates. Students can follow anything from local to world events as they happen. Notifications can alert students to changes as events unfold.
4. Developing and Sharing Skills
Social media is an amazing platform for sharing. Beyond a school-sponsored event, social media is a way for students to develop and share their talents. Students can share what they create by linking to photos, blogs, articles, videos, and audio clips.
Students can also learn about opportunities for their talents beyond the classroom. They can research and learn about platforms, potential jobs, and other means to continue to develop their skills as adults. The online world has exploded with ways for artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives to find an audience and share their work.
Students will also have improved literacy and communication. Some students may be reluctant to read books, but they will read online articles. Forums can force students to think critically and respond thoughtfully.
Social media also encourages educators to develop skills. Teachers and other school staff are forced to learn social media tools along with their skills. This encourages the evolution of teaching with methods that continue to connect with students.
5. Becoming a Global Citizen
The internet has broadened the horizons of citizens in ways that we could not have imagined. Social media provides immense exposure to people around the world. This can be everything from culture, food, lifestyle, food, clothing, and more.
Students can learn how education varies in different countries. They can discover how other countries emphasize education in different ways, as well as learn about disparities in access to education.
Through exposure to people around the world, students can learn acceptance of differences. This translates to fighting against online bullies and challenging ignorance and intolerance.
Students can see examples of others making a positive impact on the world. They can find examples of individuals that have made a global impact and use those examples as inspiration. The inspiration can come not only from adults but also from other students that have been influential in their communities.
A global experience shows the importance of adaptability and responding to change. Change comes from an awareness of global issues and challenges. Small actions are not always obvious, but by collaborating with other people, these can lead to tangible outcomes.
Students can identify how they are unique and make a difference within their local, national, and global communities. They can reflect on their place in the world and connect with others that have similar goals.
The Future of Social Media in Education
s the world of social media continues to expand, schools can find new ways to reach students and parents alike. Part of promoting digital citizenship is for educators to guide students through the safe and responsible use of online platforms.
Too often, digital citizenship is taught by “don’ts.” Instead, educators can use social media in education and be role models for children and show them what to “do” in an online environment.