In my last blog post, I discussed the role that social media plays in how our society learns information in a way that is relevant to our evolving world. Social media improves our collective wellbeing by bringing awareness to social issues. It allows young people to learn in a way that they can easily identify with. However, it is true that engaging in social media has several overwhelming consequences. For example, it has proven to negatively impact the mental health and livelihoods of young people in particular by increasing the risks of depression and anxiety. Also, it can be argued that social media hinders our ability to truly connect with one another by hiding behind a screen instead of interacting face-to-face. Despite these cons, I believe that social media has significant benefits that can prove useful if applied to our education system, transforming it into a way of learning that is most relevant to our current functioning society.
In my research for my previous blog, I found that students tend to grasp information more effectively when presented to them in a way that they can relate and have easy access to. As educators, teachers have the goal of encouraging students’ course engagement and accomplishing learning objectives for their respective classes. In order to achieve the highest quality of learning with social media, schools need to utilize social learning. Social learning is “a method of learning using ‘mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, or computers) to enable peer review through social media technology in eLearning’” (Blair). By using this method, it motivates students to interact with their peers as well as learn other perspectives from people around the world because all social media users are connected through one outlet. One way that social learning can be integrated is through Instagram. Students can use Instagram to create educational projects aside from the typical Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation in a way that is exciting, efficient, and readily available. With this method, peers can like and comment on each others’ posts to give their feedback and contribute their own perspective. Another way social learning can be implemented in our schools is through Facebook. In 2014, Facebook had an average of 1.28 billion monthly users, and the total number of all-time users is still increasing (Blair). In high school, many students do not get the opportunity to learn how to present themselves in the professional world. Through Facebook, students can create a professional profile and “develop resources in their field of study to complete course projects, papers, and network while searching for jobs” (Blair). There are endless possibilities in implementing social learning in schools through social media apps, all of which can prove to be effective because of their relatability and usability that comes at ease with young students.
By applying the use of social media to our education system and current curriculum, educators can take an innovative approach to teaching and increasing students’ content engagement. It can completely transform the dynamic of a classroom and a school overall. Learning and studying in a way that is most effective and comfortable improves the retainability of information, ultimately leading to students’ utmost success in a given subject or skill.
Blair, Risa, and Tina M. Serafini. “Integration of Education: Using Social Media Networks to Engage Students.” iiisci.org, vol.12, no. 6, 2014, http://www.iiisci.org/journal/CV$/sci/pdfs/HA312LG14.pdf. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.