Connectivity works wonders for mankind. The very essence of communication, connectivity eases the flow of thoughts and emotions among entities. Social media is in relevance today with its abilities to connect us and more. What began as a means to stay in touch has evolved into a hub for sharing information and staying abreast with the latest in the world. News spreads vigorously and topics trend at the drop of a hat. Companies have embraced social media and it remains their de facto mouthpiece to the rest of the world.
Social media is seeping into learning and education
The challenge for social media is to bring utility to our lives beyond friends and candy crush saga requests. Banks are exploring the use of social media as a platform for opening accounts and for financial transactions. Hashtag banking is a reality today and many such avenues are under consideration. What about education? Schools could have communities for alumni relations or learning management systems which can act as walled gardens for networking, communication and academics.
Learning management systems exist for sharing lectures, assignments, grades and records. They can however be tweaked to allow blog posts, discussions, videos and comments. They can mimic what Facebook and a clutch of other social networks do in the public domain. Such aspects help foster a sense of community among students and also allow the participants to share information seamlessly with each other.
Social media for teachers
Although students take to social media like fish to water, teachers may be a little reluctant in incorporating it in their mode of delivery. However, that might change as instructional in the form of blogs and videos continue to emerge in the world of education. The newness of content delivery and the forms of content serve as major points in favor of teachers adapting to the world of social media for delivering their lectures.
Social media for students
Social media has emerged as a vast pool of learning resources for students to gain immense knowledge in the fields of their interest. YouTube is a favorite place for anyone to get videos on various topics. Blogs are a staple as knowledge material on key subjects and theories. Moreover, websites such as Coursera have given online learning a face lift by attracting scores of interested learners to seek knowledge on a multitude of domains ranging from coding to marketing. Add to that the ubiquity of mobiles and apps and we have a generation of well informed individuals. Plus, alumni networks have received a shot in the arm as they exist over Facebook and even LinkedIn.
What learning management systems can learn?
Social media piques interest among individuals as far as assimilating information is concerned. Learning management systems could be better off without their drab interfaces by incorporating the nuances of social media. Emphasis could be laid on developing and sharing interactive videos to students for clearer understanding. Wikis on key topics could be posted with provisions for comments and discussions. Parents can be included in the thick of things by hosting video conferences as substitutes for parent- teacher-student meets. Having said that, there should be adequate checks for profanities, trolling and bullying of either teachers or students. A hygienic learning management system replete with the agile functionalities of social media will be the next big thing in online and digital education.
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