EduSoMedia (Social Media in Education) - Talk of the Educational Town


EduSoMedia (Social Media in Education) - Talk of the Educational Town
Teaching is a challenging job when we have focus on defined outcomes. There can always be a debate over the various dimensions of teaching and learning. What we avoid generally are the learning dimensions of education.  

It is not just the Teaching- giving a monologue and being impressive through the usage of good words- rather it is the participation of the audience, i.e. students who decide whether teaching has accomplished learning or it has remained to be a one way traffic of information. Technology is relative when it comes to educative use; the more technology advances, the more benefits education derives from it.

I can make a prediction that within a couple of years, 90% of the professional educational institutions will be using social networking not just for their marketing but for active learning clubbed with collaboration. The virtual world is turning real now and students of all streams and subject types have access to the ever-widening web of knowledge. If students are investing large amounts of their time in social networking and are easily carried away by the ‘trends’ and ‘posts’, then it is a unique opportunity for the educators to appreciate their inclinations and then get them to learn. Basically, the aim of all education, formal or informal, virtual or traditional, is to make them learn.

Researchers have started focusing on the possibilities of using the 'EduSocial' Networking in education. We have witnessed a volcano of educative groups on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and these are not just entertaining or promotional but utterly educational in most cases. The young generation has been able to use this technology to remake the classrooms and they are bound to explore more sides of social networking. They have a choice to make when it comes to following their interests and it is this place that the ‘persuasionists’ cash upon. They serve them only what they select to. We know students spend more time online than with the traditional modes of learning these days. Of course it has negative impacts; and that is where educators have a role to perform. They need to channelize the potential their students have and take them along in this expedition of knowledge- an inclusive attempt to learn.

From the old Orkut to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and the next gen’s Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc., there is a world well-known to all of us as teachers. After using them for my students, I have two components of the EduSocial World here to discuss:

  • Blogs
  • Twitter

Both of these sometimes seem secondary to Facebook but the educational value and contribution is very much conspicuous. The former gives you an interface almost like your own website and a student can elaborate the explanations to any extent in a single piece of writing. The latter is a micro-blogging platform, prompting you to shape your ideas into the minimal. The limit of one ‘tweet’ is something very tricky and educative. As a teacher, I asked the students to make a ‘class blog’ and then everyone was required to submit their assignments online. It did not create a revolution but certainly it did create successful ripples of knowledge in their minds.

A teacher is able to make them work on the same platform they like and it won’t ask for a special time slot. They just had to submit class assignments on the blog staying loyal to their very own virtual world. Apart from the syllabus related assignments, they are also asked to write on various topics of contemporary significance. They have started believing that using social media to learn is not like rocket science, it is something they already know.

Twitter is proving to be one of the best places where students are informed instantly about anything they need to know. Interacting with their faculty on this platform makes them feel they have an extra edge over others in their surroundings. They respond to the tweets and share things with their peers. Apart from this, these two platforms have enhanced the concrete class room to a boundaryless world of learning.

Alongside, learners today are required to carry multiple skills; working this way on the blogs makes them content writers, bloggers and social media communicators. When we know that employers have started analyzing the social media profile along with the resume of their candidates, such efforts may prove beneficial when students feel acknowledged for their social networking works. Starting here is the solution to many hurdles.

In this age of advancement when we have been able to develop measuring scales for almost all activities of sciences as well as social sciences, education was bound to come under scrutiny. The advent of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) into Educational Technology has empowered the teaching community with a panacea to overcome the 'bugs' that surface during the process of imparting education.

Internet based teaching is not at all a taboo now and there is a flood of utility tools on the Web for educators. There is another domain of such components whose primary purpose is not to impart syllabus based education but we, as teachers, have taken them as attractive tools to connect with our students. Social Networking is one such domain of Web Life. The users stretch it far more than being just a place for social interaction. One has to believe that if the Sun cannot replace the Moon, education through social media cannot kill traditional ways to teach and learn. It is not the change rather improvement, inclusive improvement. A teacher becomes a mentor to them through the EduSocial.

The next step will be the introduction online classrooms with face-to-face interactions with students. That day is not so far, it’s near, very near in fact.

The youth is undoubtedly the major segment to be convinced about the education we intend to impart and they can never be captivated unless we get to their level and make them believe we know what they live. Social Networking for them is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and we see that they have somehow less inclination towards some of the leading educative platforms, virtual classrooms, assignments, micro-blogging. 

About the Author
Author: Parveen SharmaWebsite: http://eklavyaparv.com
Parveen is an Innovative Educator in the Higher Education of India. He has conceptualized EduSoMedia and is teaching his students using EdTech. He is an M. Phil. in English, Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, and is pursuing PhD in Mass Communication.

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