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Imparting Education at Schools & Colleges Using Social Media

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An actual backchannel discussion on Erin Olson's English Class in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, about a poem called "To the Lady"

Social Media is increasingly being used by various B2C & B2B companies all around the world. Social Media is no longer a separate area but a part of Marketing Mix for most of the companies. And masses of people have adopted this medium & many feel handicap if they don’t have access to Facebook or Twitter. Social Media has proved to be beneficial at almost every walk of life & now it is playing an increasingly important role in Educating the students in Schools & Colleges.

Some of the potential benefits of using Social Media in Schools, Colleges & Universities are:
1) Opening up in Backchannels: With Twitter already there and the availability of various other microblogging platforms like Today’s Meet , Google Moderator , My Chat Box etc it is easier for teachers to set up “backchannels” in their classrooms. Backchannel simply means apart from the direct lecture from teacher to students there is an online channel running simultaneously for them to discuss & voice their opinions. Usually many students hesitate to open up during classroom lecture but it has been seen that these backchannels actually encourage students to open up & participate freely.

2) Turning Hobby into Work: Teachers who have used this system feel as students these days have smart phones & laptops ready with them and they do all sort of social networking stuff & surfing which can be distracting in a class room, it is better then to turn their hobby into work. Students don’t feel distracted as they are discussing & sharing relevant content with their class mates. In fact they feel encouraged & empowered with these tools. They start their own blogs or online communities to discuss & share the knowledge with other students.

Here’s an interesting video by University of Minnesota researcher Christine Greenhow on Social Media usage in Schools:

Can you think of any more ways where social media can prove to be helpful in education?

Cross posted from Harman’s Blog

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