Social Media has become a huge part of our day to day lives which is often associated with being a leisure activity or tool for business. However now there is a growing use of social media as an educational tool. With most of us students using social media in our free time, it is unsurprising that this is the way things have evolved. It sounds like a much more appealing way to learn and interact with teachers and other students than the generic email or meeting. There are many ways that social media can be used in education. For example, Youtube can be used to create educational videos on topics to help students revise or even learn something new for the first time. Pinterest can be used to gather useful resources for students. Blogs can be used to open up discussions and debates and Twitter can be used by teachers to make announcements and answer questions publicly. This could save time as students can see if their questions have already been answered while a teacher wont have to reply to the same question over and over again. Social media allows students to learn in depth in a way that is easily accessible and not boring to them.
However, there are some debates as to whether social media should be used for educational purposes. Firstly, as social media is a tool that students mostly use for leisure, it can lead to being a distraction. It is too easy to flick from an educational video on youtube to your friends new photo upload on Instagram. Therefore it might not be the most focused way of learning. Secondly, the use of social media to ask questions and debate can discourage actual face to face interaction which people need to feel comfortable with, especially when it comes to job interviews. It hinders the process of building confidence in a safe environment to those that are shy. Finally, social media can sometimes get ugly. “In a study about cyberbullying at Indiana State University, researchers Christine Macdonald and Bridget Roberts-Pittman found that almost 22 percent of college students admit to being harassed online. Of this group, 25 percent report they were bullied through a social networking site.”1 While encouraging social media in education does not directly lead to cyberbullying, engaging more in social media increases the chances of getting involved.In conclusion, social media is a very powerful tool that should definitely not be ignored in the classroom as there are many benefits. Personally, I like the combination of learning with social media and it has helped me make the most of my studies.
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