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Importance of Embracing Social Media in Online Education

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The continual development and progression of the internet has had an immense impact on society and the way that we do things. From our consumption of information to our communication with each other, technology and the internet have altered the way that we exist. Therefore, having become an integral part of our survival, technology is now widely accepted in more areas such as education. With the new generation having become accustomed to using technology from a younger age, their way of understanding and digesting information has changed. For example, it has altered the attention span of students due to having more access to shorter videos and concise articles. Therefore, traditional education can appear to be challenging due to being presented as deviating from their accepted norm. The idea of having to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher may not appeal to everyone and is therefore leading to more students pursuing online education.

When students are already familiar with using social media and consuming information online, distance learning is naturally the next step. Therefore, more institutions are beginning to incorporate and embrace social media within their teaching and learning processes. Instead of having to sit and read through a wealth of text, students are able to learn through videos and other mediums. They have the flexibility to learn from within their own space which not only caters to different learning styles but ensures that they are learning in a way that suits and is familiar to them.

Social media and the internet also make it possible for students to feel more included in a community whilst still having access to resources and guidance. Social media is often the quickest way to contact people or have questions answered, therefore making information accessible, regardless of location. For example, news of current affairs can quickly spread across social media before television stations have had the chance to cover it. Social media is instant and allows communication in real-time, almost emulating our daily interactions with people. Therefore, its use in education can only be perceived as a means of aiding learning and creating a shared experience for the student. Tutors are able to share content and relevant material with students in real-time and interactions are not as limited as when in a classroom setting.

It also allows students to ask more questions and clarify their own understanding which is something that is often challenging in a classroom when there is no time to contemplate the things that they have been taught. Social media even improves communication between tutors and students because neither party has to sit down to compose an email. Social media is accessible on phones and tablets, making it easier to respond to one another and thus improving the overall interaction between student and teacher. This ensures that students are able to develop a better understanding of content but that they are still using their initiative and becoming more critical through their questioning.

The presence and availability of online communities can also help to provide support for students which is integral for ensuring that they feel encouraged and motivated. Without the physical presence of peers, it is easy for students to fall behind or struggle with a lack of enthusiasm. Social media makes it possible for students to have a support network and maintain interaction with others.

As the face of education continues to change, institutions are having to find ways to continue to develop their curriculum in a way to appeal to the new generation of students. Although some are hesitant to deviate from the practices of traditional education, it is important to prioritise the student’s needs and therefore ensure that they are taught in a way that will maximise their own potential and learning. Whilst more social media platforms continue to be introduced, the internet is thriving and should therefore be used as a tool to aid the educational process. It has already proven itself as an invaluable medium and pool of information.

Institutions are expecting growth in e-learning/ online learning

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Although technology and the internet have become a fundamental facet of a functioning society, there are still improvements that need to be made in order to ensure growth in online learning. Whilst more institutions are beginning to accept and incorporate technology into the teaching processes, many still have concerns about its implementation. Below are some things that should be resolved or improved in order to ensure the continual expansion and success of online learning:
 

Privacy and security concerns

As students enter and share more of their information across the internet, the collection of this data is something that can easily be violated and therefore both security and privacy measures need to be improved. With more companies facing security breaches, it not only contributes to the destruction of their credibility but also makes it difficult to regain trust. Therefore, security and privacy should be prioritised and improved to ensure prevention of this. As technology becomes available in more forms such as in watches, it is easier than ever to gain access to sensitive and confidential information. Therefore it is important for institutions to ensure that they have policies and procedures in place to ensure that information is always protected. Vulnerabilities need to be assessed to ensure that data and security is not breached because it is ultimately their responsibility to ensure that information is secure. The privacy of student data is fundamental and must be prioritised.
 

Better coverage of Wi-Fi

With more devices connected to the internet than ever before, it is important for organisations to ensure that Wi-Fi is made available in all locations. For example, in library basements or reception areas of buildings. Students always want to be connected and with the amount of devices that are now available, institutions have the responsibility of ensuring that the density of their connection is continually improved. University campuses are quickly recognising that they need to supply an internet connection, however it can be frustrating for students to lose their connection when moving to a separate building or walk across campus. Therefore, it is important for institutions to improve this and cater to the needs of the student. In terms of online learning, students will still have access to libraries and public spaces therefore a strong Wi-Fi connection is essential.
 

Provide training

Whilst staff may be familiar with things such as virus-detection software, it is crucial for institutions to provide training on safety and security measures in order to ensure the smooth operation of online learning. Staff need to be able to understand how quickly security is able to be breached in order to aid its prevention. Although institutions already have measures in place to ensure that data is secure, this is often not something that is explained to staff or teachers. Therefore, whilst they may possess a basic understanding of the importance of data security, teachers need to be aware of the consequences of a security breach and its overall impact on the reputation of the organisation.

More institutions also need to have measures in place to tackle things such as cyber-bullying by providing sessions for tutors on recognising signs and preventing it from occurring. Whilst traditional education ensures that teachers are able to pick-up on things such as bullying, it is not something that they can often translate online and institutions should therefore provide training. The needs of the students should be prioritised and staff need to be made more aware of issues and problems that they may be facing.

Whilst online education is heavily reliant on written communication, if a student is hesitant to declare that they are struggling, teachers should be able to recognise signs and provide support accordingly. Although online education continues to thrive, these are areas which must be improved in order to ensure that this method of learning continues to provide students with the same outcome and opportunities as regular education. With more data being collected and shared, and the access to the internet quicker than ever, institutions must take measures to ensure that students are always protected.

MBA programme is the most feasible option for working professionals

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Working professionals are always seeking to self-develop and often end up pursuing an MBA programme in order to invest in their future. An MBA programme can provide working professionals with the knowledge and skills to progress to a more senior role whilst also increasing their level of qualifications. It can help in all areas such as strategic thinking and being a better leader. Therefore, MBA programmes are often recommended to people that may be seeking career progression.

MBA programmes themselves have developed through shifting their focus in order to help students maximise their experience and ensure better career prospects. Whilst industries continue to change and evolve, it is important for both institutions and businesses to remain aware and up-to-date with these changes whilst ensuring that their curriculum and services are always relevant to the needs of students. Therefore, when making the decision to pursue an MBA in business, there are some factors that should be considered.

Learning while working

Many working professionals will be pursuing an MBA in business whilst still maintaining their existing job and it is important to ensure that your chosen programme will allow for this. Some students may find it difficult to balance work and studying, however an MBA programme not only allows you to increase your skillset but ensures that it does not in any way hinder your career. Whilst still a commitment, an MBA is something that you will be able to use and implement in your existing role and you may find that the two overlap, making both easier to balance.

A student-driven approach

Institutions should prioritise and focus on a student’s needs whilst developing a curriculum and you should therefore identify whether their approach is something that will benefit you. For example, more student-centred learning will focus on providing you with experiences to ensure that you are gaining more than theoretical knowledge. Content is also taught through different approaches whilst taking your needs and aspirations into account. A programme should be tailored to helping you acquire the most out of your studying, ensuring that your goals are a priority.

Entrepreneurship

Whilst an MBA was used as a tool for career progression, it is now often perceived as a means of being able to thrive independently. For example, individuals that are interested in and hope to pursue entrepreneurship are able to benefit from an MBA because an institution will not only encourage and help to promote innovative ideas but will help students to become more critical thinkers. They are able to provide individuals with the fundamental foundations of what it takes to succeed, with professionals then being able to go on to implement these.

Integrated learning

It is crucial to consider the outcome of an MBA in business and whether it will help you to progress in your career. For example, through asking questions such as whether the programme can help for you to build contacts within the industry or provide you with the expertise that you can then go on to apply in the workplace. Before dedicating time, it is important to evaluate the MBA as a whole and whether or not it is worthwhile. Think about what it will bring you and whether it lines up with your future career goals.

Soft skills

Whilst theoretical knowledge is able to deepen your knowledge and provide you with a better understanding of things, it is the soft skills that will help you to succeed. As more and more students are graduating with degrees, they often lack the real-life skills to be able to implement their knowledge into a job role. Therefore, things such as time management and having a positive attitude are sometimes lacking in candidates because it is not something that they were able to pick up whilst studying. MBA programmes therefore ensure that they focus on the development of these various skills because they are the means to becoming a more effective and successful working professional. Programmes should provide you with more than just knowledge, you need to be able to acquire the skills and experience that you can go on to apply in your future job roles.

Whilst an MBA can act as an additional qualification, it is still crucial to consider whether or not it will help you progress in your personal career. It is also important to choose the right institution for you to ensure that you are able to get the most out of both your time and education.

The Rise of Technology in business schools to meet the demands of students.

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Business schools have recognised the value of technology in teaching and learning and have quickly blended the two in order to enhance the student experience. Whilst some teachers may be reluctant to abandon conventional teaching methods, it is important that both student and tutor have the willingness to participate and therefore ensure a better outcome for the student. Some institutions are using technology in learning because it seems like the natural progression when society itself is becoming technologically reliant. However, technology itself needs to be perceived as a tool to help students instead of something that is just a natural transition for the school.

When a student makes the decision to attend a business school, it is often for the sole purpose of securing a job or progressing in their career. Therefore, institutions need to be willing to consider the needs of students and prioritise these in order to maximise the potential of students.

Some UK business school universities have already shifted their focus to the needs of the students by providing them with more support. For example through utilising tools such as Skype where students are able to interact with a tutor and therefore ask questions and receive both the support and encouragement that would take place in a classroom. When an institution is willing to go out of their way to ensure that the student’s needs are met, they are not only helping to improve the educational experience of the student but are ensuring that they will also go on to excel. The use of technology has been revolutionary in meeting the demands of students, for example by providing them with an almost online classroom to emulate the feeling of being surrounded by peers, making up for the lack of physical presence that comes with online education. Business schools are using these platforms to ensure that fewer students feel isolated which is something that can be common in online learning and can even go on to hinder progress.

Technology also provides students with access to the best UK business school universities without them having to commit to moving outside of their geographical location. It not only brings education to the student but ensures that this student is still able to learn from a top institution. Technology is making it possible for them to have a better learning experience, therefore allowing them to go on to excel. It is whilst studying that a student develops their understanding and foundations of the industry and this time is therefore crucial and should be used in order to broaden their knowledge. It is this foundation that the student will go on to build on and use as the basis of their future work, therefore institutions must ensure that they are meeting the demands of students.

Business schools that are already utilising technology have made it possible for their students to interact with global professionals. Students can even enrol on a course at an international business school because the use of technology means that they can study abroad without having to commit to moving. This will not only to make them globally employable but can enhance their future career prospects. Technology creates more opportunities for students and therefore business schools will continue to utilise this in order to improve the overall educational experience.

With students becoming more aware of the different routes of learning, they are now able to pick and choose between the different elements to ensure that their chosen route complements their career goals. Technology itself is becoming a fundamental part of everyday life and schools internationally are beginning to incorporate it into their teaching processes. However, technology itself can help to benefit institutions by bringing them together with another international business school, therefore creating more opportunities whilst allowing them to be able to comprehend a more global perspective of their chosen industry.

The future of business education lies in technology and with the continued development of devices and the internet, teaching and the business curriculum will evolve accordingly. This is a necessary transition in order to ensure that students are always gaining the most out of their education and business schools must continue to cater to this need.

How virtual-learning bridges the gap between high school and college

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Traditional education promises a classroom full of students which is an element that is not present in online learning. However, technology has made it possible to simulate this environment and therefore bridge the gap between school and college. By allowing a connection to a wider community in order to share resources and support one another, virtual-learning offers an interactive approach irrespective of geographical location. Through providing access to global instructors and exposure to countless invaluable resources in order to facilitate learning, students are able to learn through their peers whilst developing a more in-depth and critical understanding.

Collaboration and facilitated-learning

Although students have the presence of their peers inside a classroom, it can still be difficult to collaborate and share ideas. Classes do not always allow for group work or have enough time to participate in discussion which can sometimes hinder learning, due a lack of dialogue to further explore ideas. Whilst students are able to converse with each other outside of class, this dialogue often needs to take place in real-time in order to allow time for questions and clarification of their thought process. It is through this discussion of concepts and questions that students can work together to explore the things that they are learning whilst sparking new ideas. It is often during this back-and-forth process that students are able to fully grasp topics and it is therefore crucial for discussions to take place in a classroom setting.

A lack of this can sometimes cause traditional education to become a more solitary experience, therefore virtual-learning makes it possible to bridge this gap by creating a space for this conversation to take place. Students are able to converse in real-time as they learn through an online chat platform or social media. This makes it possible for them to share ideas and thoughts which will not only facilitate their learning but will support a deeper understanding of topics. Technology offers many opportunities for students to collaborate without having to interrupt a teacher in a classroom or become concerned about a time constraint. This is something that can also allow students to connect with their peers and mentor one another, which is integral to acquiring success. Classroom settings can often prevent this and virtual-learning is therefore crucial.

Shifting the focus from teacher to student

Virtual-learning shifts the emphasis of learning onto the student rather than instructor, therefore allowing students to carry out their own research and use their learning as a tool to be more independent. By allowing students to have the capacity to facilitate and be accountable for their own learning, a virtual education cultivates a well-balanced student and provides them with the right skills to go on to succeed within the workplace. Students are able to develop technical skills and navigate software to utilise learning through quickly becoming familiar with programs and content in order to understand and consume information. This will not only ensure efficiency and productivity, but will also allow for them to be engaged and go on to implement this within the workplace.

Students learn to seek out help or resources when experiencing difficulties, which will not only help to make them more well-informed but shifts the responsibility from the teacher to the student. By allowing the student to ask questions and clarify their own understanding, it provides them with the ability to broaden their own comprehension of subjects.

Education is individual to every student and therefore should cater to their needs. With the evolution of technology, it is now possible for students to distinguish their learning style and inevitably go on to pursue these, whether in the form of blended learning or through a course that is solely based online. By offering students a choice, it not only allows them to alter courses in order to suit their own needs but ensures that they are gaining the most out of their education whilst still being a cost-effective approach.

The internet presents countless opportunities for students to collaborate and gain access to a wealth of information, therefore it is crucial for institutions to recognise and use this to arm them with limitless possibilities.

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