SOCIAL MEDIA

Impact of Social Media on Education

In today’s world of connected learning, the impact of social media on education is becoming a driving factor.  The world is getting smaller, and through the use of technology such as social media, the way we deliver instruction is changing. Social media and education can complement one another if utilized effectively. The technology referred to here really transpires just social media technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. The technologies that allow these platforms to function are also one of the driving forces behind the impact of this technology on education. There are positive and adverse effects of social networking to students to students, and the jury is still out concerning the long-term effects of social media exposure may have. Social media and education are not historically allies and many educators see social media as a determent to real learning. This is changing as the cloud-based nature of social media for collaborating on projects is growing into a pertinent and useful technology. Facebook has the ability to create rooms and video chat with invitees. This is great for student projects which rely upon successful collaboration as the global pandemic shut down many face to face interactions.

For example, video presentation platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Web video conferencing such as Cisco Webex, have allowed instruction to be delivered across great distances. No longer is it necessary for a faculty member to be in the same room as the students. These technologies have given rise to the flipped classroom model and changed the way knowledge is conveyed to students. Faculty today must be more technologically savvy than any generation previously as the students not only prefer communication through these mediums, they expect it. The adoption of social media in everyday life is one of the driving forces behind these changing expectations and how social media is changing education. Today’s students want to connect with other people in higher numbers than us old educators may think. There is a complete industry of applications that are designed to help people increase their social media following.

The impact of these technologies on education can be considered positive but also has some negative consequences. It’s not clear what the positive effects of social media on students or negative effects will have on long term development, but there are some downsides.

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What is the impact of social media on students?

Advantages:

Increase student collaboration

Improved Participation

Content Rich Resources

Useful for team projects

Disadvantages:

Student distraction can become an issue.

Lack of control for inappropriate content

Relying on Social Media for all contact

Positive Impact of Social Media

Some of the positive effects of social media on students are:

The world is smaller, and thus, students are more diverse in their thinking about their interactions. You may wonder if it’s too diverse with the many protests going on college campuses lately, but it does show the students are thinking about more than a single viewpoint than they have been taught. Of course, you could argue that some students have taken their demands for inclusivism to the point where they are promoting divisiveness and biases towards other people’s viewpoints, but that is a topic for another post.

The noise that is negative listed above can also be positive. Because there is so much noise on the net, some students have become better at weeding out the unimportant stuff and absorbing what is important. This is one of the positive impact social media may have when it comes to education. Students understand better how to research topics utilizing a variety of sources and in some instances, social media can be an excellent resource for statistical type instruction.  This does show that in this connected world, there is a place for librarians and instruction on how to effectively do research using search engines and evaluating resources for validity.

Students now have the ability to reach out to industry experts across disciplines, and this can help the students locate more authoritative sources of information. This is a tricky endeavor, and students must be taught how to evaluate the source of data even when it may come from a supposed expert.

It is easy for students to collaborate on various team projects using social media platforms. They can create Facebook groups or even just use Twitter hashtags to communicate about a project and share ideas. This can also be done in mediums such as email. Still, social media give the promise of keeping the conversations open and even comfortable for the educator to view threads and determine if everyone on the team is participating.

What is the Negative Impact of Social Media on Society?

There have been studies on the adverse impact of social media on people’s brains, and these adverse effects not only have an impact on social media in education, but it also has an impact on society as a whole. This is one of the main negative effects of this technology on education

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