I was conducting a workshop on “Leveraging Social Networking Sites for Job Opportunities” last month at Lingaya’s University, one of the premier engineering and business institutes near New Delhi.
One participant asked me, “Can technology-driven Social Media impact our education system?”
“Yes it can, and very substantially” was my curt reply.
How do you guys think about “Impact of Social Media on Education”?
Is technology the answer to the issues in our traditional education system, or is just a catalyst?
Can Social media actually help our education system or is it just a hype?
Let’s explore together the impact of social media on our education. But, prior to that, we need to understand “What is Social Media?”
“Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Social media is media for social interaction as a super-set beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.” – Wikipedia
How much of an impact does social media have on education?
The impact is all pervasive, expanding the education landscape. Educators are using social media platforms for professional development as well as for enhancing classroom instruction. Teachers are no longer just the master of a subject and their classrooms are no longer defined by four walls and a blackboard, but stretches far beyond the physical boundaries of their schools.
Don’t you guys feel that we’re fortunate that we are living in an age where social media tools allow us to connect directly with audience. Social media tools are a way to reach out, to share news and reflections with colleagues and students both within and beyond institutional walls.
I can recall that LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said in one of his interview with Mark Schaefer that “Today, with a few million dollars you can create a digital platform that changes millions of lives. You can do the same for education. We have never had that opportunity before in our history.” Facebook, Google+, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are transforming education—all with little or no costs.
Social media tools are collaborative and include some form of user generated content, personalization, and some form of social interaction that makes them creative, with huge potential for use within academia.
With the help of social media tools and platforms, students are collaborating on world-changing projects, and educators are bringing expert lecturers to their classrooms via social media. Teachers are creating lessons and developing new instructional strategies every day through social media platforms.
Have a look at the infographic traces Learning Tools over the years:
Click the image for full infographic
Beyond doubt, technology is increasingly pervasive in almost all aspects of teaching and learning. Seth Godin also sees a fundamental change in our education system by the impact of the internet.
Benefits for Education Leveraging Social Media
Social media tools are changing the education landscape. Universities and colleges increasingly are using new communication technologies to produce innovative teaching methods, helping them improve their relationships with staff and students.
- Expanding the Education Landscape
- Removing the constraints of Geographical Boundaries
- Producing Innovative Teaching Methods
- Re-inventing the Classroom with Interactivity and Engagement in Teaching
- Increasing Collaboration
We can conclude it with Hoffman’s statement that “Technology opens up the educational echo chamber by introducing the possibility of learning from a variety of experts and perspectives. It creates an opportunity for global dialogue, expanded connectivity, and the possibility of learning from the best teachers, wherever they may be.”