There has been a rise in the use of social media within the last few years and it is now becoming an integral part of the way that we do and experience things, for example our consumption of news or the way that it influences our shopping habits. However, one of the main advantages of social media is that it is a platform where people can come to create a shared space and form communities which is integral to aid and maximise online learning.
What is the role of social media in online learning?
Learning online can be incredibly isolating without the continual presence of teachers and your peers around you. Although teachers can provide online support, there is nobody physically around to discuss things with, for example if you struggle with understanding a concept and need to quickly run through it with another person. This is where social media comes in, it can be used to create a space for coming together with peers and teachers to support, encourage and discuss things with each other.
How can different social media platforms help your online learning?
Social media can often be more interactive than a physical classroom. Sometimes people are too afraid to ask questions due to the fear of it seeming irrelevant, however social media creates a space where questions are encouraged. Teachers can also use different social networking sites to promote educational materials that you may find useful or relevant. They can provide tips on how to study and even comment on things.
Some of the main social media platforms that can be used to aid online learning are:
YouTube contains a wealth of knowledge and countless instructional videos. Instructors can also utilise the platform to broadcast tutorials and the comments section provides space for students to come together to discuss or ask questions. It can be an excellent resource because it can sometimes help to listen to a person simplify and talk through a concept in order to be able to fully comprehend it.
There are countless uses for LinkedIn such as being able to participate in its groups and discussions where people can provide tips or exchange views. Although it is more of a professional platform, LinkedIn can be used to follow educators and influencers who often post things like industry-relevant videos and reading material.
This is one of the most popular platforms because it allows you to connect with your peers. A teacher can also create groups where other people that are studying the same course can come together. This not only instigates interaction but provides you with a space to gain and access information. The instructor can also post various material and introduce you to new ideas to allow discussion.
This is an excellent platform for quickly communicating and also being able to access things that people are sharing. Teachers can create certain hashtags that a student can follow to be exposed to anything that their peers are sharing or discussing. Again, it creates a more interactive space and often allows for a quicker response than emailing a teacher directly.
Overall, social media makes the experience of learning online less isolating which is essential to learning. It is also accessible on mobile devices which means that support and information are always on hand which contribute to aiding and maximising your educational experience and learning.