Over the past few years, due to the global pandemic, there was a major shift from traditional education to online learning. With this major shift, educational facilities, educators, and even students themselves have felt the urgency to adopt the right technology and tools to support the new form of instruction and boost its efficiency. And, believe it or not, social media turned out to be one of the most effective tools for this purpose.
What types of tools are there? And, most importantly, how can they be used to support e-learning? In this article, we are going to look closer at the use of social media in online education and answer these questions. Let’s dive in!
In today’s world, studying is generally made easier thanks to technology and innovation. Now, it’s not odd or rare to see students use a wide variety of tools to simplify their everyday lives and get their tasks done faster and easier.
The range of helpful study tools is huge. This includes different gadgets such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Besides, there are online libraries, video lectures, and many other educational materials available on the Internet.
Finally, there are also online academic help services. Today, modern students can type in ‘do my homework’ to find EssayPro and get a top-notch paper that deserves the highest grade with ease. Such services make learning simple.
But even that’s not all. Among all the tools mentioned so far, there is one more that is still being often overlooked. This tool is social media, and it has a huge potential in education.
When people think of social media as a learning tool, they most often see a very limited number of options. Yet, apart from the obvious picks like Instagram or Facebook, there are plenty of other tools that deserve attention. To name a few:
Professors and learners are already familiar with these tools. Now, let’s see how exactly they are used in online education and what benefits they offer.
The first thing worth noting is the opportunities for collaborative learning and seamless interaction that social media platforms create.
According to a recent survey, among 456 accredited US education facilities, 100% are already using some type of social media for e-learning purposes to encourage better interaction between students and teachers. Various networks make communication quick and simple. But, most importantly, this form of communication is well familiar to modern students, which is why it can be extremely effective.
What is more, such channels embrace collaborative learning. They enable students to share helpful materials and ideas, discuss information, and interact with each other easily. Seamless interaction creates favorable conditions for teamwork, building skills that will come in handy for every learner.
Now, given that effective communication is one of the most crucial things for efficient online education, this is one way how social media supports this type of learning.
One of the biggest issues existing in the e-learning landscape is the unreadiness of educational facilities for this form of study, which results in their inability to ensure that teachers and students always stay on the same page. Yet, this can be changed with the help of social media.
Unlike various e-learning dashboards that can be rather hard to use, social media is something we all know and use on an everyday basis. Therefore, such channels are perfect for broadcasting updates and alerts. Educators can use them to share important news, provide homework assignments, inform about class updates, etc.
The core goal of education is to share knowledge. The same is true for e-learning. However, this form of study is still at its infancy stage. So, it can be rather hard for professors and students to get used to online knowledge sharing and make the most of it. And this is one more point where social media helps.
Though it is generally believed that various channels are full of invalid, irrelevant, and simply useless information, it also has another side. Millions of professors, students, and industry experts use their accounts to spread real, helpful knowledge, and this can benefit online education.
Let’s look at LinkedIn or Twitter. These networks are being widely used for professional purposes. Specialists across various industries perceive them as tools for sharing their knowledge, experience, and ideas, which makes it possible for students to learn from and interact with outside experts.
Apart from that, there are many high-quality blogs and YouTube channels that can help knowledge sharing. In fact, the opportunities are almost limitless.
Finally, it is simply impossible not to mention the growing engagement levels social media can create for students. Earlier, we’ve stressed the fact that such channels are something we all know and use. To be more specific, more than 3.6 billion people around the world were actively using such channels in 2020. And this number is predicted to keep growing even more in the next decade.
What does this mean for e-learning? With so many people already using social media for various purposes, integrating it into e-learning can help us eliminate the need for a new learning curve. Simply put, institutions don’t need to force their students and instructors to learn and get used to new methods and techniques if they already have effective and well-known tools. If these tools are well-known, they are also easy to adapt to.
Yet, the list of advantages is still not exhaustive. Many people associate such channels with something fun and entertaining. Thus, by integrating them into the academic program, institutions can significantly boost student engagement.
Better engagement, in its turn, is known to increase students’ motivation, which is extremely important for effective online education. Moreover, it can help improve retention rates among students. So, here is one more way how such channels make e-learning better.
After reading this article, you should have a better idea of the available social media tools. Also, you now know about their possible uses in the field of online education. In conclusion, all we can say is that academic institutions around the world are already adopting such channels. And there are plenty of reasons for that.
Such channels can engage students. Apart from this, they have the potential to help them perform better by supplying them with the right materials, information, and tools. Social media can have plenty of benefits for educational institutions. It can boost academic performance, retention rates, help connect students with professors, and do much more.
Given all these advantages, we believe that social media has a huge potential in the e-learning field. Maybe, it is that exact “future of education” we all have been waiting for.