Social media…you either love it or hate it! For some, social media is an important part of their daily tasks but for others social media is a complete waste of time. However, no matter which side of the fence you sit on, it is important to understand the potential social media has in learning.
What is social media?
Social media is the social interaction among individuals, communities, companies or organisations with similar interests in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, pictures and videos in virtual communities and networks.
Why should social media be integrated into learning?
Social media plays a big role in learning technologies and underpins the philosophy of sharing and collaborating. Learning is no longer teacher-centric but has shifted into becoming learner-centric. Social media thus allows learners to socially learn and puts them in the driver’s seat. Through various social media, students and instructors can share practices, information, course material, opinions and comments.
4 Social media tools you can take advantage of:
Instructors can create a page for a specific course or programme where information, course updates and discussions can be posted. Open and closed groups can be created to upload course material, content, facilitate discussions and share information, opinions and ideas. Facebook questionnaires and polls can be used to receive feedback on a course and gather statistics and information about learners which can be used to design future programmes or improve current programmes. Most learners have Facebook connected to their smart phones. This means students can receive instant notifications and updates about the course.
The instructor creates a twitter account and a #hashtag around a specific course or event. Learners and instructors can tweet their opinions or comments on a course or event using the designated hashtag.
LinkedIn’s discussion and groups are a great way for learners and instructors to share information, material, developments and industry knowledge. The professional profiles of individuals available on LinkedIn is an added bonus, as learners can see their instructors or leader’s achievements and expertise.
Using YouTube, instructors can upload videos based on demonstrations, tutorials and even teasers to their own YouTube channel. Students can view the videos anytime, rate the videos and leave comments. Instructors have the option to make the videos private or public. When a video is set on private, only learners with a link can view the video.
So as learning instructors let’s at least try to get every learner into a YouTwitFace (YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) learning mode.
The role of social media in eLearning by Christopher Pappas. http://elearningindustry.com/the-role-of-social-media-in-elearning