5 Ways to Use Social Media for Education
Germany Kent, in her book The Hope Handbook, says, “If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired, or not networking, then you are using it wrong.” Gone are the days when social media was merely a way to pass time on the internet. Today, social media is a powerful platform that one can use to create an impact in almost any and every field.
This is a platform that you can use to network and share ideas and experiences. The proper use of this platform can give its users the power to influence the thought process of thousands, if not millions, of individuals from across the globe.
A new age of Social Media
Today, all the information of the world is at our fingertips through the internet. According to Hootsuite’s digital trends 2022 report, social media has grown at a compound annual rate of 12% since 2012. In America alone, 72% of the country’s population has an active presence on social media, with the average user using 7.5 platforms a month and spending approximately 2 hours and 14 minutes a day on them.
Another study by Global Web Index also shows that 67% of the Gen Z population engage with social media for research, collaboration, and educational purposes. We can broadly look at social media as a tool used in education from two different perspectives – from a student’s point of view and from a teacher’s point of view.
Social Media for Students
In the first section of this post, we shall explore how students can take advantage of social media in the context of education.
1. Explore various aids to education
Popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are a host for advertisements and promotions. Consider topessaywriting.org essays and get help with different academic requirements to run ads in the relevant target demographic. Students can easily find such services through their social media. Furthermore, students can also find shared accommodation, book sales for course textbooks, or student discounts for products through Facebook Marketplace, Snapchat, and other outlets.
2. Using social media as a platform for collaboration
As the name itself suggests, social media is a platform for students to be ‘social’, and seek opportunities for collaborating with other students in a similar field, seek advice from professors worldwide or collaborate with universities and participate in student exchange programs.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for professional-level collaboration. A student can directly email any professor who has an overlapping area of interest to see opportunities to work under them. Additionally, they can write and publish research papers in online journals.
Students can use platforms such as discord, slack, or Microsoft teams for peer learning, working together with other students across the globe, sharing ideas, and developing a wider perspective of their subject area of interest.
Social Media is also a great platform for students to conduct surveys for any research purpose. A student can create a simple form and share it across WhatsApp, discord, slack, Instagram and other platforms to collect information and insights from different user demographics.
3. Social Media is an effective marketing tool
Social Media Marketing (SMM) can serve as a side hustle for students to learn the different marketing techniques practically. Strategies to improve SMM as a student to reach a larger audience will help them understand concepts of the target audience, and attention-grabbing techniques better.
SMM also helps students learn how to project a brand, how to engage with the audience, and understand engagement trends. These skills are transferable to various professions. Some examples of this are – understanding engagement trends involves analyzing data – an important skill for any data analyst or data scientist. Knowing your audience helps professionals in every field to convey their intended message more effectively.
Social Media for Teachers
In the second section, we shall explore how teachers can effectively use social media as a teaching aid in order to deliver educational content more effectively.
1. Share information with students
It is no secret that students spend a considerable part of their time on different social media platforms. Teachers can take advantage of this fact and post assignments, homework, and group work on social media such as Google Classroom, discord, or slack.
After the onset of Covid-19, teachers have started relying more on these tools to communicate with students without having to share a physical space with them.
Teachers can create a Facebook page to send across updates related to their coursework, broadcast alerts, and more. They can Livestream their lectures for students who would like to attend them remotely.
While using social media to connect with students, teachers should also be mindful of establishing professional boundaries and maintaining them. Teachers are recommended to send emails to establish good communication practices, in the beginning, to avoid any unwanted situations later.
2. Improve learning experience for students
The attention span today has been reduced to a few seconds to a minute due to short videos, clickbait, and content like Instagram Reels. Students are motivated to learn about ‘hot and trending topics by doing their own research rather than through reading big textbooks. By relating subjects with current affairs and trending news, teachers can make the entire learning experience more memorable for their students.
Teachers can also use social media as a way to understand their students’ likes and dislikes in-depth and customize learning to include these references. This will help them in keeping their students engaged and also motivate a student to turn up for class more regularly.
However, one thing to keep in mind while employing this strategy is that teachers should take care to protect their own and their students’ privacy. Fortunately, social media apps come with in-build features to aid teachers in this aspect.
In conclusion, social media is unfortunately branded as a means to waste time by many. However, if used in the proper manner, social media can be used to create an impact on a very large scale. Social media is a powerful tool, which, if used to its complete potential, can aid both students and teachers alike in education.
Social media has had a huge impact on all aspects of lifestyle, and education is no exception. By adapting to the different social media platforms, students and teachers can stay relevant to the times and create more memorable experiences in the field of education.
About the Author – Joanne Eliot
Joanne Eliot holds a Master’s degree in Marketing and has worked as a freelance consultant in the area of corporate communications for various fortune 500 firms. She is a prolific writer, who regularly writes for online blogs and student forums.
Her primary area of interest is helping and mentoring students and educators on how to adapt modern technology for a more holistic education experience. She believes that her experience can aid students in their own professional journeys, and also help teachers understand their students better.