Tips & Tricks

Why and How Social Media Should Be Used in the Classroom

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Since its inception, social media has drastically evolved. Facebook’s original audience, for example, were college aged students. Now Facebook has users ranging from ten years old to one hundred and ten years old. Many companies have begun using Facebook and other social media sites to reach consumers.  Knowing how to use social media professionally is a great skill to have. Social media has many advantages that we don’t necessarily see beyond our current informal use, yet even now, as well as into the future, social media will change how we communicate and the image we present to the public.

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  1. Social Media should be included in our formal education:

Social Media is an important tool in the professional world. It is no longer just used by teens to complain about daily drama. Many companies do business on social media because it is an easy and inexpensive way to gain exposure to the largest number of consumers.

Another important use of social media is to connect companies with talented job candidates.  Many employers review personal social media sites, such as Facebook, to identify potential candidates to fill their open positions in addition to professional social media sites such as LinkedIn.  One area of particular interest to companies is to discover who potential employees are, what they do in their personal lives, and who their friends are — the old adage, “you’re known by the company you keep” fits right in with the social media world. Schools need to teach how to have a professional presence on social media… and yes, that includes deleting your keg stand pictures off of Facebook.

It would also be wise to include aspects of social media in seminars or clubs that teach job hunting skills, emphasizing how important it is for students to be professional on social media sites so they do not raise any red flags with potential employers. Learning how to use social media for business purposes would be a great asset in the work world.

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      2. Social Media should be used in the classroom for communication:

Social Media allows people to communicate with friends and colleagues within seconds. I am part of countless Facebook groups that relate to my classes and professional goals. Being a part of these various groups allows me to ask questions and communicate with my classmates.

Unfortunately some of the websites students are encouraged to use to ask each other questions (like Blackboard or Piazza) can sometimes be confusing. Use of existing social media platforms, on which students may already have accounts, could encourage participation. If there was a class group site where everyone could go, including the professors, to discuss topics or answer questions, it would make students’ lives a lot easier. 

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      3. Studies support social media in classrooms:

A recent study showed that social media is beneficial to learning because it allows students to learn and communicate in small groups. “Virtual Study Groups” increase student learning because they allow students to discuss topics relating to their courses more easily. Students may be too shy to ask questions in class, so a virtual study group would give students who are hesitant to talk in a large classroom setting a chance to talk about their courses and share what they’ve learned in a more comfortable atmosphere. 

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Social Media is the way of the future.  It will increasingly become impossible to achieve success without the use of social media.  Since we students are the future, it is crucial that we know how to work with future technology in appropriate ways. Having social media in the classroom is a huge asset that will help us while we are students and later in life as professionals.

Photo Credit: Cover,1234

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One thought on “Why and How Social Media Should Be Used in the Classroom

  1. Hmmm I agree in some ways, but I suppose I’ve never had a positive experience using social media for anything in the classroom. When I was in school, computers were primarily used for typing essays and perhaps playing games. I guess it’s come a long way, I do however feel like being online doesn’t foster the same type of learning. I wonder if kids are more prone to get off track and explore the internet. Great article!

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