Monday, November 4, 2013

Guest Post: How Social Media Has Transformed How Students Learn in the Classroom

Social media is more popular than ever, and has become a daily staple for the younger population. Now, many schools are looking to incorporate this new communication platform in their classrooms. One way to do this is to provide a number of online communities whereby students can communicate about the topics learned in their class. Here are several different ways schools across the country are taking advantage of social media.

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Social media as a platform to share work

Students can now share their work via a number of different online platforms. Some post on Facebook, others upload artwork onto Flickr. This encourages other students to comment and evaluate each other's work, and connect students in a new way when they are away from the classroom. Art 10, Introduction to Visual Studies, was a class created by Anna Divinsky, to download via iTunes. This lead to an a series of online courses, with one module attracting nearly 60,000 online students. 

Twitter as a platform for debate

Recent statistics suggest 21% of young people born in the year 2000 or afterwards, now use the social network website Twitter as their main news source. At a class at New York University, students were encouraged to tweet during a guest lecture featuring several journalists. The class started to trend on Twitter. Students can use the website to post questions to guest lecturers during a speech, and allows more introvert people who do not want to stand up and speak ask a question to lecturers. 

Blogging as an education tool

Students were encouraged to keep a blog by a Business Media professor at New York University, in order to keep students engaged and abreast of the news. Not only does this provoke further debate, but teaches students basic HTML and website development skills.

Creative Commons image by author vanillamood
LinkedIn as a source

The social network website LinkedIn has become a way for individuals to contact the CEOs of multinational corporations. This can be an effective promotional tool, and undergraduates who are applying for internships during their summer vacation to help further their career can contact potential employers online. 

Google Hangouts to speak to lecturers

Google Hangouts has proved popular with students who want to speak to their professors online face-to-face, without having to travel into college. This is particularly effective during the evenings or weekends, where professors may not be able to attend college to address any concerns students have about assignments or coursework.

Creating a classroom with Edmodo

More people are using the website Edmodo in order to create a classroom of students online, where assignments can be uploaded, and photos can be shared with fellow students. Teachers can share lesson plans, and answer questions about lectures from students. This tool has proved popular, with many students using the services.

Virtual education

Northwestern University held a module entitled the Philosophy of Cyberspace, whereby students created an online account on the website Second Life in order to explore a number of different themes which were covered in the course, including how to build an online community, and the economics of the web. Often students would converse in this virtual world, rather than at college. 

This article was provided by Carl Shaw of You can contact them for details on all social media accounts, from Twitter and Facebook, through to Instagram and Youtube.

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