Younger generations are undergoing a massive change in education. Connectivity, and the use of collaboration tools, has transformed the classroom. Google Docs, for example, is widely used in classrooms across the world, with many schools offering Chromebooks to students to bring technology into the classroom.
It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 students have at least one social media account.
Social media may be used as a tool for entertainment purposes, but these platforms are also being widely utilized for education.
Facebook’s private groups and messaging apps have allowed for the formation of classroom groups. Students that were once tied to collaborating only in person are now using social media to work on projects together and finish their homework assignments.
Students that need help from their teachers or other classmates can often find this help through social media where they’re allowed to ask questions and receive answers. The widespread adoption of file sharing has further allowed students to upload assignments to friends or teachers on social media.
We’re also seeing students share their essays or other documents with friends who will provide feedback or proofread the documents for their friends or classmates.
But social media goes beyond Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We’re seeing a new birth of social media companies that are designed specifically for students and teachers.
We’re seeing a widespread introduction of these tools, and we’re also seeing new features utilized by teachers on social media. Facebook Live has started to be used by teachers to connect with students and even provide supplementary educational resources when needed. Tools that were once made for businesses that use Facebook ads are now being used by teachers to better understand engagement on groups and videos.
Stronger communities are being built with student-teacher relationships flourishing and stronger bonds with classmates.
Reaching experts and breaking out of comfort zones is also possible on social media. Experts in fields are often more than happy to respond to students that have questions for them. Students are able to go outside of their comfort zone and contact professionals that they had been otherwise reluctant to reach out to in the past.
Quora, which one can debate is not a social media site, is also available and allows students to ask questions online and receive highly accurate answers. You also have YouTube and LinkedIn which are being used by students who need to go over a subject an additional time using a different approach to increase their comprehension of the subject matter.
Of course, social media is also having a negative effect in classrooms. We’re seeing schools implement no phone usage rules because of students being on Snapchat in the middle of class. This is a negative aspect of social media, and it is shaping education in the wrong ways. Students that are on traditional platforms in the middle of class are often unengaged and missing out on key subject matter.