Schools and colleges often lag behind in providing their students with the right amount of professional exposure. Their environments are restricted to regular classroom practices and interactions between learners and teachers.
The fact that students
need to be prepared and their skills need to be polished to be a part of the workforce infuture, is ignored. It needs to be realized that restricting students to their textbooks and interactions with fellow students and teachers in the class cannot make them aware of the professional world and its rituals for which they need to be prepared. Technology allows us to connect and converse with people across the world, no matter at what time instant or where we are located. People are finding a lot of genuine help with such online connections and are readily influenced by the perspectives and ideas of other people. So why not avail such opportunities to connect students in schools and colleges with professionals with simplicity and ease. Most professionals out there are willing to connect with students and consider it their responsibility to guide students for professional development.
There are a variety of ways through which students can be a part of the growing network of professionals, to be guided by them and make themselves ready to become future professionals. They can utilize a variety of social networking platforms to connect with influential people, employers, industry experts, recruiting agencies, passionate people, etc., by participating in online conversations, events, being active listeners to grasp asmuchideas and knowledge as possible. Here’s a list of5 great tools which allow students to connect to professionals:
Twitter : Is the most popular micro-blogging platform, which allows you to create and share through your personal learning networks. Students can find numerous educators and professionals here, from all over the world and follow them to get regular updates from them. They share resources, discuss ideas to push thinking, offer ready help and support by answering questions, making suggestions and sharing their learning and insights. Students can comment on the links they share and also retweet or favorite whatever they share. For more personalized conversations, they can use direct messaging and keep the conversation going.
Helpouts by Google :Is an emerging platform to connect with experts and get real help from them in real time. It is an easy and convenient way to get help over live video. Students can get help anytime from people with expertise in diverse fields; these professionals can be personal trainers, teachers, counselors, doctors, home repair specialists, hobby enthusiasts and more. Students can choose to get help on the basis of qualifications, availability, reviews and ratings. If help is not requiredatthe instant, then a later hangout can be scheduled. Somehelpoutsare free, while the rest are paid. People who offer help on Helpouts are invited by Google and have to go through a screening process to qualify to provide help. These helpers can be professionals from large, medium or small companies as well as individuals.
Quora : Is regarded as one of the best sources of knowledge. Students can ask questions and get real answers from people who have first-hand experience of whatever is asked; they can also create blogs to share their own ideas. They can choose from more than 250,000 topics to create an update feed that is tuned to their interests. To connect to professionals, students need to follow their area of expertise. Professionals can create blogs on Quora, to write about their expertise on the Web. While answering questions, individuals can also be tagged and link to related questions can be added. Students should connect on Quora, to get a great opportunity for talking to experts beyond their own school/college campus. This allows them to interact with professionals they might not have the opportunity to meet otherwise. They can be a part of discussions related to their field of study, and even get connected with professionals who may be useful to know when it’s time to find opportunities after graduation.