So after fully analyzing both sides of the argument of including social media into college-level courses, I have definitely come to the realization that this argument is not so simple. Both sides definitely raise some compelling arguments and after researching some of the disadvantages, I have come to the conclusion that if social media IS going to be used in the classroom, it should definitely be monitored in order to avoid distractions among students. Completing these posts and researching this interesting topic has been very beneficial because as a young adult, I have always found social media to be something we use as a distraction from school, but now I see how beneficial it can really be after actually using it in some college-courses.
Blogging my thoughts was also something I truly enjoyed because I got a chance to comment on my own thoughts about an issue that was interesting to me and put it out there for my classmates to see and comment on. It’s a great way to get your opinions out there and engage with others who share your thoughts or might have opposing arguments. I definitely plan on creating another blog and sharing my professional experiences as my college career comes to an end very soon. I hope to share my experiences in my professional field and hope to get some advice from other young professionals out there!
Happy Blogging! 🙂
Now that I have discussed all the advantages and opportunities social media can have in the classroom, I will now present the other side of the argument — the disadvantages. With todays ongoing debate about the use of social media in classrooms, finding a middle ground has become a challenge. Social media as an education tool enriches the learning experience by allowing professors and students to interact, collaborate and network. There are hundreds of sites such as Facebook, Edomodo, Twitter and LinkedIn where students are able to exchange ideas and encourage discussion while finding answers to their questions. Despite all these benefits, professors are still hesitant about using these tools in the classroom. Below are a few cons I have found while doing research on this topic that I felt were the most relevant.
- Distraction- a very common complaint among educators is the distraction these tools can have on students. Students often use these tools as ways to distract themselves from schoolwork so professors believe that by inviting students to use them in the classroom will just distract them from lectures and assignments.
- Cyber bullying- using these social media sites in the classroom can be a weapon for malicious behavior. Many studies done have found that college students admit to being harassed via these sites. Professors using these tools as a part of their course activities need to be aware of the dangers of cyber bullying and constantly monitor these sites when suing them in the classroom to prevent this type of activity. Also, many of these sites have privacy settings that can be installed to professors should use these settings to also prevent this type of behavior from occurring.
- Discouraging face-to-face communication- this is probably one of the most important disadvantages I came across when evaluating this topic. Using social media has been a concern to many educators mainly because it discourages face-to-face interactions in the classroom. Students are missing real-life valuable lessons in social skills and students who are uncomfortable expressing themselves face-to-face will use these sites and never be able to develop these very important skills.
This debate is definitely an important one to consider and one that should not be taken lightly. It is important for universities to fully understand both sides of the argument and find safe and useful ways to incorporate social media in classrooms in order to get the most out of these tools. I definitely believe using these tools encourages collaboration, but they need to be used correctly in order to be successful in the classroom! What do you think?
Happy Blogging! 🙂
As a professor, you might be having a hard time implementing ways of using social media in order to engage students and help them learn. I see social media as a great learning tool (as I have previously stated) since our generation already uses it in our everyday lives, why not incorporate it as a learning tool to aid in our college learning process?!
From an article my classmate helped me find online, there are 6 important strategies I found interesting to help incorporate social media into the classroom, and they are the following:
- Set a good example- it is important to explain to students the proper way of using social media in the classroom and the importance of monitoring their classroom profiles.
- Create a class Facebook page- creating a class Facebook page can be extremely beneficial especially for explaining assignments, communicating class activity/changes, and deadlines. Teachers can interact with students in a way they understand and students can get immediate updates on class activity and assignments in one place.
- Establish online guidelines- as with all assignments, it is important to create guidelines. I found this strategy to be very important because it is vital that professors keep track and set specific guidelines for the way they want to use social media within their classes. They can manage private settings and such depending on the tool they are using to better monitor these sites while using them for learning purposes.
- Devise a Twitter “channel”- this strategy is one I can relate to the most because as college student, I have used this method many times with classes and it has proved to be extremely successful! As an example, I had a question for my EDIT 2000 class I am currently in, and was able to ask my professor the questions via our class Twitter handle and see that other students were also having the same question. I was able to get my question answered on a timely manner and seeing what my other peers needed as well in order to solve my problem.
- Use Skype for guest speakers- this was a strategy I had never thought of! Sometimes guest speakers just aren’t able to come on site to our college so what better way to accommodate a guest lecture than simply having it via Skype! This is a great way to reach important and relevant speakers that simply are not able to travel to the university. It allows professors to broaden their lesson plans and gives students the opportunity to listen to great information!
- Get ideas from your peers- getting stuck on a project or assignments? What better way to get through this hurdle than to ask your fellow peers for advice! Instead or trying to find their numbers or email addresses, having a class social media site set up can help students exchange ideas on class topics and assignments.
I found these strategies to be very interesting and true and 100% recommend college professors to take advantage of all the online tools that can be used! Because in the end, who doesn’t get bored of just listening to lecture after lecture? What do you think?
Happy Blogging! 🙂
p.s. – I have attached the article here so you can read if interested!