Social Media as a Learning Tool?

Over recent years social media sites have become a very popular online platform for individuals to interact, communicate and network. As time goes by, these social media sites are being seen as tools for professionals as well students in the class room. Of course growing up, most of our high school careers consisted of keeping our phones in our lockers or on silent in our book bags and having our phone out during school was quiet frowned upon. Phones and social media were seen as distractions and a unnecessary idea, but is there positive effects? Does social media networks help students learn in different ways or is it something that should be kept out of the classroom?

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Kiev, Ukraine – October 17, 2012 – A logotype collection of well-known social media brand’s printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

There are multiple articles and studies that tested similar questions and their data and information so both the negative and positive effects of the use of social media as a learning too. An article published by Karen Lederer shows both the positive and negative effects of using social media. On the positive side of the spectrum, social media can be used as a tool for education, Engagement, communication between student and teachers and a way to get your noticed and network with professionals. By using social media and different apps, students can engage and participate in class without any criticizer from surrounding peers. Just like we see in class with the comment wall, anyone is able to ask questions without having to raise their hand in lecture hall that contains about 300 student. It can be intimidating and if you are scared to ask a question you’ll never understand the true answer. It also allows students to get to interact with the class as well the teacher or professor. Another positive effect of the use of social media is that it allows you to network with professionals in your desired field of study. It allows a student to show who they and what kind of personalities they have through their social media profiles.

On the other side, the use of social media platforms can provide negative effects. According to the same article , as well as being a student that sees the negative effects first hand, the negative effects consist of social media being a distraction for students, their can be a possibility of cyber bullying or anonymous post and finally, a way to lose face to face communication skills. As a student I see these effects and have witnessed them first hand. Social media for myself is a huge distraction, and i lose complete focus besides what is in front of my face. As well as Social media use being a distraction, it also in no way a tool to learn face to face communication skills. It does have a chance for you to practice computer skill and communication via text, blog or email. It is not able to hep teach the social skill that are peculiarly used  when actually working in a organization or facility that interacts with an individuals on a daily basis.

Overall, I can see social media use as a positive tool, but by experiencing it first hand, i my self would say that the negative effects over weigh the positive effects. What do you think? Do you think the use of social media is beneficial and can have a positive effect on students? Or do you think it is an overall negative idea and the use of social media should be left for out of the class room?

1 thought on “Social Media as a Learning Tool?

  1. Maria Jean Conti

    This is a very well-written blog and I definitely think our generation needs to embrace social media and use it for everything that it is good for. It has so many negative effects but it could be such a great tool in getting information out there. “Go fund me” I think is a good example of how we have tools today that allow us to do things we could never dream of, years ago. Just on a website, people can raise money for donations, charities, events, or personal life goals.

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