Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have not only revolutionised the way we interact with each other but have also enabled us to personalise our experience on the internet. People have almost always associated these platforms with our leisure time; however, increasing numbers of students are turning to social networks to improve their learning experience as well as to advance their future careers.
Engaging with social media allows students to not only collaborate with each other on an intellectual level but also to forge connections within their chosen industry, that will stand them in good stead when they enter the world of employment.
While most students may prefer using social media to broadcast their social exploits, it couldn't be more important, now than ever, to approach these platforms with professionalism in mind. Here, we'll look at seven ways students can make the best use of these social media platforms.
Team Projects/Assignments - Facebook Groups
Students who are following a particular course of study can benefit from setting up a community with Facebook groups to discuss the concepts or issues that are most relevant to their education. Forming a centralised location for subject knowledge increases the efficiency of communication and study while allowing for collaboration on projects and assignments, and the sharing of study tips. By inviting educational professionals and professors of different subjects to join these group, it is even possible to open up further educational and discussion opportunities and to achieve an open forum where advice and opinions can be shared freely to the everyone's benefit.
Classroom Video Conferencing - Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is the ultimate video conferencing tool and it affords students a host of educational opportunities. With Hangouts, students who can't make it into class can, not only catch up on the lessons remotely but can also fully participate in the lecture. Students can also form study groups outside of school hours to discuss lessons with each other.
Flipped Classrooms - YouTube
The Flipped Classroom is a relatively new and exciting concept that reverses the idea of traditional teaching for the student's benefit. When watching a Flipped Classroom video, students obtain their first exposure to a new idea or fresh material before they attend class, so that they can use the knowledge that they have gained remotely to solve problems, answer questions or participate in discussions. This form of active learning is much more engaging than traditional learning and enables students to reflect more effectively upon what and how they learn.
Career Networking - LinkedIn
Social media is not only useful for educational purposes, but can also be harnessed to help forge a future career path. Social networking offers a multitude of ways to connect very easily with people in different areas of life; through sites like LinkedIn for example, each network can be carefully built and nurtured through conversations and interactions in an effort to be better exposed to professional opportunities. Your connections can also be organised properly, via groups, lists, or circles so that you can use them more effectively.
Q&As - Twitter/Reddit
When students need further information about a topic of study, two of the best places to turn are Twitter and Reddit. Many people, including educational professionals and those working in specific industries, host regular Q&A sessions on their Twitter feed that allow students the opportunity to gain extra knowledge that will further their education. Reddit, on the other hand, is an open forum that allows students to post questions of their own or to comment on discussions, allowing them to expand their knowledge base and to share opinions. Reddit is rapidly becoming a favourite learning tool, with many educators even starting discussions for their students to follow.
Research and Debate - Quora
Quora is a social network that has been developed specifically to increase knowledge through the sharing of information. Students who need to research a particular topic can simply enter their field of interest to access current opinions, studies and debates on the site, read, digest and even comment on them. Not only is it possible to find questions and answers posted by their peers, but it is also easy to access a lot of content supplied by professionals within their industry, which gives them a comprehensive knowledge base to use in studies.
Arts and Crafts Development - Pinterest
Extra-curricular activities are the backbone of education, but schools just can't encourage it enough. Students who are looking for ways to develop their arts and crafts skills will greatly benefit from using Pinterest as a point of sourcing and curating information. As well as offering a convenient forum for gathering and organising ideas, Pinterest is useful for creating themed boards around an artistic or creative topic, sharing current work with others and planning an upcoming project. Pinterest is also a fantastic jumping-off point for gaining creative inspiration, and the search of original and unusual artistic ideas from all areas the world.
The believe that social media is used purely for personal leisure activities is gradually being dispelled as growing numbers of students and professionals recognise the power that the internet holds to enhance their education and boost their career. By making the best use of different social media platforms, students can broaden their horizons and participate more actively in their learning experience.