Social media has taken the world by storm. It has become one of the best mediums for transfer of information and knowledge in the world. It is usually the younger generation that uses social media than any other demographic.
Students especially use the medium to stay in touch with their old friends and also to meet new ones. Like any other technological innovation social media has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Schools are adopting technology for pedagogical purposes and introducing social media into the classrooms. This is a trend that has garnered a lot of support as well as apprehensions.
Social media has several advantages for students. Social media can enable students to easily contact each other with regards to school projects and assignments. It is also possible for them to work on group assignments from the comfort of their own homes. Students that use social media can also participate more in class. When social media is used in pedagogy, students who have difficulty in expressing their thoughts in their classrooms can get involved in the learning process. It will help build these children’s confidence level as well. Social media is also useful for students when doing homework. Any doubts can be cleared by posting a message through social media. Any questions that they may have can be asked on a message board and other students can also benefit from the feedback given by the teacher.
Teachers have many options to share useful links and this benefits the student. Students, teachers and parents can be on the same page with the help of social media. Sites like Face book help teachers to stay in touch with parents and let them know about the progress of their children. Along with the advantages social media also has several disadvantages. Social media can be a distraction for some students. Students may be distracted from their school work and the teachers will have no option of knowing which student pays attention. There is always a possibility that the students will not use social media for educational purposes. They may use social media for their personal communication.
Students that use social media regularly may lose their ability to engage in face to face communication. Even if the world is turning to technology, students must know how to communicate in the real world. Social media websites are becoming notorious for cyber bullying. This has become an alarming trend. Students may write hurtful messages about other students and this could scar students for life. Yet another problem with social media is that it is impossible to know whether students will use the medium in a constructive manner. Students may post inappropriate content like pornography on social media. This will defeat the purpose of the medium altogether. Social media is a rather effective way for students to make friends and also to get their education. At the same time there are certain disadvantages as well. The true challenge lies in overcoming the disadvantages and ensuring that the advantages create the desired impact.