Monday, August 22, 2016

Why use social media in education?

Today I want to take you down the lane of social media and discuss why teachers can no longer ignore its use in the classroom. As we all know, the potential of social media to support teaching and learning can no longer be underestimated. With the emergent of many techsavy pupils who continue to enter our classrooms daily, the need to motivate learning from the point of what they like and use every day (i.e. social media) becomes urgent. This hot topic motivated me to look into the reasons why teachers need to take advantage of social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc) to support student learning in the 21st century classrooms. The question motivating my search for this answer was:  Why should teachers use social media to support teaching and learning in the 21st Century classroom?

In an attempt to answer the question I was able to generate numerous answers based on my own experience as well as from continuing discussion with colleagues and students. Here, I only provide a summary into why social media can no longer be ignored by teachers by examining its potential benefits in the 21st Century classroom. Using social media, for example, you (as a teacher) can easily:
                    i.    Know your students’ thoughts based on the posts
                  ii.    Access current affairs like breaking news
                iii.    Globalize your classroom to the rest of the world
                iv.     Connect your class to experts who may impact on your students’ learning
                  v.     Connect with families including those of your students
                vi.     Make your students to think and comment about your lesson outside the classroom

It is my hope this is motivation enough to spur usage of social media for the benefit of both the teacher and students in the 21st century classroom.

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