Social Media a boon or bane

6 June 2017

The benefits of social media as a learning tool. 1 It is a familiar tool. Most of students are on social networking platforms, and these services are already tools that students are generally comfortable with and they can probably show you a thing or two in return. 2. ) Improve your own knowledge and skills as an educator. By learning how to use these platforms as a teacher, you are making yourself more aware of issues surrounding students today.

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If a student tells you a classmate is harassing them over Twitter doing something called ‘tweeting’, how can you nvestigate the situation unless you know how to search profiles and send messages yourself? 3. ) Resource availability. From current news feeds, following public figures, learning a new language or improving software skills, there is an endless range of free resources available through social media both linked and hosted. If you are looking for a debate, a video or commentary based on a recent news report, Facebook and Twitter’s search functions make them a valuable and free set of tools. . ) Improvement of research skills. Being able to find information online is a skill that is now important in the workplace nd one that can be taught through lessons designed around social media platforms. 5. ) The improvement of communication. If conducted within a controlled environment, then social media can be a way for students and teachers to communicate effectively. This could include sending out reminders, posting homework notes and organizing projects or events such as revision classes. 6. ) Relevant, real-life learning.

Teaching students how to use social media in order to improve their Job prospects can be extremely valuable. How do you find a Job through Twitter? Who do you ollow? Why do I need a LinkedIn profile? 7. ) The promotion of digital citizenship. u en nave to learn about now to conduct themselves appropriately online. Not only do they have to face the consequences if they behave in ways that are considered cyberbulling, but it is also necessary for them to understand privacy policies and the transfer of data online.

By using online platforms, these lessons can be integrated within a more traditional school curriculum. 8. ) Engaging your students. Gen-Y and younger generations are stereotypically portrayed as being glued to their adgets, and are known for using such devices for social networking, games and entertainment purposes. Use this to your advantage. 9. ) The ability to share learning material. Social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are full of user- generated content, links and shared items. This can be used to your classes’ advantage.

Why not create a Facebook group dedicated to your class, or set a task to research something across these networks? 10. ) The potential to appeal to different learning styles. Whether a learner naturally prefers kinetic, audio or visual learning, the varied types f media and information found on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can appeal to a wide range of learner styles. 1 1 . ) Ease of access. Social networking requires no expensive equipment or modern upgrades all you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. 2. ) Assisting shy students. There are some students that find social interaction or contribution difficult and engaging students through an online project can make this easier for them. The cons of social media as a learning tool. 1 . ) The gimmick factor. Unless the use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter are incorporated into a class plan in order to contribute towards an objective lesson aim, then it could become nothing more than a waste of time. 2. ) Distractions.

Unless teachers properly supervise their students – – and maintain control if the novelty ot YouTube makes them too exci ted it can e difficult to tollow a lesson based on Internet research. 3. ) The risk of cyberbullying. through witn Cyberbullying is rampant on social networks, and it is something teachers need to be aware of. Social media projects may not be confined to a classroom and if this is he case, teachers (and potentially parents) need to monitor student activity for any signs of bullying. 4. ) Limiting face-to-face communication.

If a balance is not maintained, then too much technological input can have a detrimental effect on social skills that children need to learn. 5. ) The need for schools to research, understand and implement. Educational establishments are slowly making their presence known on social media for advertising and information-based purposes. However, it requires a good level of technical understanding to use and maintain social media effectively

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