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Being in the 21st century, social media can be described as the platform which enables human relationships through technology, in other words, it is the media for social interaction between people (UNESCO IITE, 2019). From certain researches, it is found that in 2019, there will be an estimated of around 2.77 billion social media users worldwide, compared to 2.46 billion in 2017 (Statista, 2019). Since 2000, social media is involved in the field of teaching where new learning techniques are being introduced and it is improving the learning methods.
Schools, colleges, and universities are using the online universe to communicate with their students in the whole world. This essay will discuss the possible opportunities and the negative aspects of social media, it will look at examples and evidence of the different ways in which social media is utilized as a learning tool and conclude that it is a great aid to students at the university level if it is used correctly.
Firstly, social media has the role to empower students and teachers to use new ways of sharing information.
Thus, it has a vital role, since it helps to increase student collaboration and participation in class. There is a fact that 35% of schools have student and instructor-run blogs where they are interacting for educative purposes (e-Learning Infographics, 2019) as well the use of Facebook is very common in many universities where certain news is being uploaded there. For instance, connections with instructors can be made between different physical areas and exterior specified lesson times in the form of groups and with other students at different levels of education (Henderson, Snyder, and Beale, 2019).
This improves the student to get a greater understanding of the topics explained in class or obtaining some exact important notes from teachers. “Social media is not media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” (Alston, 2019) In fact, students must surpass confinement to be able to collaborate in their learning such as peer audit workshops, collaborative inquiry about assignments, presentation, collaborative papers, and discourse bunches. Learners are fortunate to cease more profoundly locked in with the learning, and this enriches the learning experience and contributes to personal growth.
Secondly, it is found that social media has been acting as an effective educational tool for tertiary students. Instructors are utilizing social media within the classroom to further attract students within the learning period. Social media can be classified as an instrument that teachers use to frame their classroom more engaging, applicable, and socially different (Beidelman, 2019). Appealing students outside of the university will rise accomplishment, participation rates, grades rates and pupils will also discover their learning much more pertinent and significant. There has been a 50% rise in grades, 20% of students are completing an extra task and there is moreover 35% enhancement in constant absenteeism by texting ‘wake up’ or ‘running late’ which do not cost the school anything (e-Learning Infographics, 2019). ‘Great teachers focus not on compliance, but on connections and relationships’ (Caposey, 2019). As noted above, social media aids apprentices in their studies to facilitate their academic performances.
Thirdly, social media improves student potential to possess a career in future. This is so, as they are well-prepared to enter the working industry, by becoming potential employees. Students can both work and study at the same time which boosts to become trained and have experience for the future field (Asrt.org, 2019). Communication abilities are being created where the students gain confidence from social interaction which can make them feel more secure in future (Raut and Patil, 2019). Students discovered their talents from these interactions when they work with the use of social media. It also supports students to develop their own identity through profile pictures and sharing of photos which enable them to represent themselves in the society (Mastrodicasa and Metellus, 2013). These students sense a strong connectedness with the use of social media in a class where their learning potential increase as well as building better communication when entering the working society. It is also found that certain universities are creating websites or blogs for their students where they gather a number of companies searching for new recruits where they can apply (Barry, 2019). Thus, social media does not only abet in education but also aid in after graduation, since all professions nowadays require Information Technology skills.
However, the social network has certain negatives impacts on the students. the social media act as a distraction for students. It is found that 97% of students use their cell-phone for non-academic purposes (Eab.com, 2019). They watch movies on online application such as Netflix, in addition to playing games such as ‘PUBG’ where students are not paying attention to studies (Narendra, 2019). The utilisation of excessive network often led to poor logical thinking along with less patience in class. Being distracted for a long time, thus, this makes them take more time to complete their assignments as well when conducting revision where this can lead to poor grades. Due to the availability of new information daily makes pupils spend more time absorbing information. There is the act of distractive multitasking activity where they focus only on phones or tablets which give a poor delivery of answering a direct question in class. Hence, it leads to unsatisfactory academic performance similarly and leading to a low rate of education accessibility rate in terms of technological appliances. Besides, if not properly monitored, social media can lead to addiction, and this can, in turn, result in poor academic performance.
Furthermore, especially in rural areas, the unavailability of technological appliances leads to a lack of academic scopes. According to Brouwer, there is not a strong performing internet speed in their 70% of schools nationally (2019). It has been found that since 2016, there is more than 90% of information that has been found online, affecting students at low-income level who do not have access of such opportunities that can improve their learning quality as well as the standard of living. (Brouwer, 2019). Internet freight increases the gap between the poor and rich students at the university level since before, poor students were only spending money on books, stays and food but now they must save and incur the high cost of internet bill (Study International, 2019). There is also the fact that certain universities do not have sufficient computers that affect students.
In addition, some of the online websites do not provide a proper quality online e-learning service. The fact of having easily online service found that when information is published with time, it becomes outdated and it can contain certain errors at the start (James, 2019). In same the way, sometimes we do not have the accurate, relevant, complete, and understandable information which lead to bias thus, creating confusion. Along with the verification of proper grammar and spelling are often avoided which diminish student grades as they often avoid to use the spelling and grammar checker (Raut and Patil, 2019). Along with some sites, it is found that abbreviations are being used creating unawareness in pupils as they do not know about it and just consider it as the exact words. They rely on these sources believing that they are quality resources but in fact not the case since the best one provides all information in a well-manner and properly adjusted. When a student starts to verify each academic research, this makes them take a lot of time where their concentration towards their work reduced (Panahi, Watson and Partridge, 2014). Students who rely on information from social media reduces their ability to retain and learn more information and knowledge. Thus, it can be said that students take a lot of time to extract resources.
Having examined the topic from different perspectives, it can conclude that social media has brought certain positive and negative aspects. It is found that social media can create problems for the students since it often leads them to distraction as they waste a lot of time in doing research (Tess, 2013). Most of the negative facts can be overcome by reducing the time spent. It should regulate certain social media policies that can help to restrain students from distraction. A policy can be that students should not access another students’ account by default. Thus, this can turn the social media as an educational tool for the students which can lead them to achieve an excellent level in their educational progress. Students need good time management skills, equipped with these, they will be able to use social media and not abuse it.
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