Use of Social Media in Teaching and Learning: Emerging Role of Social Media and its Importance in Teaching and Learning

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Social media has gained incredible popularity over the past few years as an open source of information and knowledge sharing platform. Educational institutions are using social media space to interact with young minds. We are seeing educators leveraging the potential of social media technologies to enhance the overall teaching-learning process.

The emerging role of social media in teaching-learning process cannot be ignored. It not only provides students access to useful information but also connects them with learning groups and other educational systems that make their overall learning process more interesting and engaging.

Social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are being used by almost everyone. These social channels are all about collaborating, networking, sharing and generating knowledge and content – something which is of great value in the context of education.

Few ways in which social media is helping professors, students and universities are mentioned below, take a look.

Benefits of Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning: How Professors & Educators can Use Social Media to Enhance Teaching-Learning Process

With the advent of internet technology, Social media has become an integral of every student’s life. Through social networks, it is easier and convenient to exchange information, communicate with each other and stay connected. Teachers and students can use social platforms to stay connected to each other and can use it for educational purpose.

Social networks are empowering students and educational institutions with opportunities to improve teaching-learning process. SlideShare, Quora and ResearchGate etc. are helping students by providing online tutorials. These platforms offer valuable resource material for enriching knowledge base.

Social media is also a medium where students can establish beneficial connections for their careers. As an educational institution, it is crucial to be active in many social platforms possible, this helps create better student engagement strategies and makes learning more interactive and inclusive.

Professors can use their Twitter or Facebook handles or even messaging services such as WhatsApp to hold live sessions, offer extended support to students thereby enhancing the scope of learning beyond classroom. They can organize discussions related to their subjects or class assignments on social media platforms.  Social media therefore helps both teachers and students to remain connected off campus.

Faculty can create groups using social media where useful information can be accessed by all. It is a good platform for sharing ideas. They can use hashtags to increase outreach of their academic posts and view submissions by students to check engagement level.

One of the main reasons behind professors adapting to social media in and out of the classrooms is that they can do personal branding using social media. This helps in creating a name for them in the academic fraternity. Facebook, Twitter, various blogging sites and YouTube are some of the social channels where professors can market their expertise. These platforms are highly popular among students and hence can help in establishing high reputation.  After all, who wouldn’t want that his / her work should get recognized !

Teaching fraternity is therefore acknowledging the impact of social media on personal and professional lives.

Social media is increasingly becoming popular in building relationships outside the classroom setting. It is helping drive admissions and strengthen public relations of the Institute. Students’ welfare department in colleges are taking help of social media to engage students by addressing their grievances. It is further being used to showcase life at campus and build strong alumni networks.

Social media properties are being used in learning for the purpose of convenient communication with other students and potentially with others outside the class. You can connect with industry experts through Facebook live sessions.

To get started using social media in teaching, consider what you want to achieve. Do you wish to help students in their assignments beyond teaching hours. Do you wish to discuss some subjects / case studies that could not be covered during regular classroom schedules. Or do you wish that students should share their scholarly work and invite feedback on the same.

Your purpose will determine the expected outcome of social media usage for enhancing the teaching and learning experience.

7 Ways Social Media can Benefit Professors and Students in Teaching and Learning

Revolutionary changes in technology has open various opportunities to enhance teaching as well as learning experiences of students. The world of education has completely transformed ever since the internet and smart phone technologies came to existence.

Rising popularity and usefulness of social networking websites has led educators to explore their potential use in education. Educational institutions have realized the capability of social media to improve collaboration and active learning.

Social media is paving way for a new age learning which is personalized and customized to suit the need of every learner. In an increasingly interconnected world, professional networks and connections have become key to one’s success and future growth.

In this context social media has a lot to offer to the educational community. Here are some of the direct benefits of social media usage for the academic world:

#1. Collaborative Learning

On social media, students exchange lot of information. So, why not use this platform to encourage collaborative learning. In fact, several institutions globally are encouraging students to forge international partnerships using social media for taking up some project assignments.

By doing this, they get engaged with each other and learn how to manage projects and coordinate with teams sitting globally along with cross cultural sensitivities. Similarly, the use of social media has made it easier and faster to interact with peers or teachers about class-related topics.

Use of social media also familiarizes students with a new work culture of managing work through online engagements which is very important in today’s business environment. It teaches them how to develop a strong online presence by improving their communication skills.

#2. Information Sharing by Students

Students are continuously hooked on to the internet through their smart phones and hence rapidly transmit information to their connections. Apart from just sharing views and opinions they also exchange lot of valuable information. This information is a lot more than just interesting videos or snapshots and cover useful stuff related to their studies. They exchange helpful information for classes and examinations.

#3. Social Media Marketing for Educators

For educational institutions, social media is a great marketing tool to reach out to the prospective students. This new media has led education professionals to build a strong marketing strategy to increase brand awareness.

Colleges all over the world are extensively carrying out social media strategies to tap students. They are connecting with experts on topics via social media.

Through blogging and SlideShare, teachers are soon establishing themselves as experts in particular fields and subjects. Students gain useful content by following these experts online. This empowers institutions and establishes its brand equity in the academic world.

Academic Institutions are communicating with students via YouTube and Facebook. These channels can be used to communicate campus news, make announcements and provide students with useful information. This builds engagement between the College and students which helps in building trust by addressing many student related issues through community interactions.

As part of their marketing strategy, Institutions can share supportive and useful posts that can connect their audience in a positive way. You can initiate hashtags on social media to engage students in online discussions that are helpful. Video is a prominent tool in social media trends and is very effective in communicating your messages. You can use it to share useful and interesting stories that can inspire students and help them prepare for the challenges ahead.

#4. Helps to Foster Research

Social media offers collaborative opportunities to foster research initiatives. It is one of the best platforms to extract secondary data. You can conduct survey pools to gather sampling and find out opinions of general people and other experts on a particular subject.

Social media can help academic researchers compile and produce useful content by working on collaborative assignments and projects.

#5. Continue Teaching from Anywhere and Everywhere

Sometimes, it is difficult to address queries of students during classroom sessions. This makes it further difficult for students to clear their doubts. However, professors can take advantage of social media technology to extend teaching hours beyond classroom. They can set up Facebook Live sessions or Twitter discussions to cover uncleared doubts of their students. As a matter of fact, professors can allocate dedicated time slots for online discussions to answer any question or to work with a student. Through Facebook sessions, Faculty can connect with large audiences at one go which otherwise is not possible in one class.

Professors may like to continue engagement with their students even when they are travelling and not taking sessions. They can even stream lectures to avoid any cancellation of classes while travelling. If the professor is unavailable during the actual class time, he can use Youtube to record a lecture beforehand.

#6. Take Advantage of Blogs to create Virtual Library

Setting up a personal blog or website gives professors a lot of freedom to build intellectual credibility. They can upload their academic work and other important lectures and videos that will allow students to take relevant inputs as reference material for their studies.

#7. Let Students Learn from Social Networking

Social media offers great learning opportunities through social networking. Students can be encouraged to build networks to support professional help in career.

Similarly, Professors can also connect with the students and help them identify suitable job openings and find relevant connections for their future profession.

Conclusion

As social media networks advance in education systems, many helpful and beneficial tools will emerge that can make learning a more enriching experience.

Students today are intimately involved with social media at every stage. If you’re missing onto the usage of social media you are pushing away a lot of potential audience. Using it in educational institutions can prove to be a very effective measure.

The benefits of social media for academic entities are many. The above are just a few, to begin with. Social media sites offer great opportunities for communication between peers and teachers.

Using social media, teachers can improve the involvement of their students in studies and education, improve technological ability, provide a great sense of collaboration in the classroom and build good communication skills of students.

What are your views about integrating social media in higher education strategies? Do let us know here.

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