Some interesting facts about Social media in Higher education

Social MediaEducation as we all know it and have come to live with it has become an ever changing ever evolving entity that morphs and shapes itself as the need and technology progresses. The internet and the accessibility to it has become one of the biggest and most interesting sectors in the country and dare I say it, the world. But the question now resounds…”How this development is affecting the classrooms, the lecture halls and workshops of our educational sector?” The answer…social learning

Social learning is exactly what the name says: “Learning with the help of social influences – i.e social media.” Social media is one of the fastest growing media platforms that is not only infecting the sectors of our country but also affecting the way we learn, what we buy and how we perceive the world. Social learning is not therefore a new “fad” but something that is being used in the lecture halls of the education sector.

Here is how social learning is being implemented:

CPUT’s Public Relations class have gone the online route and they have given their students a twitter hashtag that allows them to read any information that their lecturer might have posted, any additional reading that they might need to read or even start a conversation that can assist the group in the clarification of a topic.

YouTube in the classroom is not a new thing, but live broadcasts with the assistance of Google Hangouts allows the students that could not be in class, due to some reason, be able to be present and even ask questions and more via the platform.

With the help of google drives, whatapp groups and other networks, students can now access their information, their results, their assignments much easier and quicker than ever before.

Other institutions have even created their own social media platforms and networks to encourage online discussion and sharing of information such as GetSmarter.

Internationally, according to

“The use of social media among older faculty (those teaching more than 20 years) is only slightly lower than that of young educators.

  • Some colleges are now accepting a one minute long YouTube video as a substitute for the traditional college essay.
  • 61% of educators say they have a Facebook account and 12% of them say they use it to communicate with students.
  • 40% of educators report having a YouTube account and 21% of them report using it to communicate with students.
  • 18% of educators say they have a Twitter account, however that is on the rise.
  • 46% of educators play social videos and podcasts as educational supplements to their lectures.
  • Skype has created opportunities for foreign language students to connect with a native speaker to help further develop their language skills.
  • Social media has created a new form of communication between students and faculty.”

We also see lecturing staff creating hashtags in the beginning of their lectures and having “live tweet feeds” on their screens and even communicate with some experts about a topic. If they are lucky, these experts reply live and the students can then see the comment and learn from it.

So Social Media is not just a fad, it is here to stay…but the question now is… “Are you moving with it, or are you going to keep fighting against it?”

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