Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stone Age Tool? Social Media Use in Education [INFOGRAPHIC]

It may seem stone aged for the most savvy of users of social media, however, higher education is slow to adapt to the usefulness of social media use in education. There are but a handful of of universities that successfully integrate the use of blogging, and other social media into the daily lives of students and educators. With help from iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices, students can now access class assignments on the go. No longer having to sit in a stodgy lecture hall (doesn't that seem stone aged?), students can communicate 24 hours a day with classmates and faculty. Of course there are pros and cons to social media usage in education, here are a few pros:

1. It's a great educational tool. The learning experience can be enhanced by engaging discussions through the use of social media. Imagine a whitepaper being created based upon engaging, rich academic discussions on ethical business practices of small business owners. Student interaction may even increase with the use of social media marketing in higher education classrooms.

2. The main reason students go to college is to prepare themselves for better jobs. Using social media in education is a great connector for that. Allowing students to use tools like LinkedIn as a classroom assignment is a phenomenal concept. LinkedIn, being the 'professional' social network, is a breeding ground for employment offers. This social media tool used appropriately in education will give students a professional web presence, a format for posting resumes, and students can research a company or brand easier on this social media site.

Of course, there are cons to every pro, so here are a couple of them that come to mind.


1. We all know how social media can be a distraction. Just think of how many hours a day you spend checking Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. Educators are concerned that by implementing any kind of social media use in the classroom will interrupt the natural flow of learning. The fear is, students will spend more time sending status updates to friends than doing schoolwork.

2. Then of course, there are the naysayers who believe greater integration of social networking will discourage one-on-one communication between society. That is a possibility, because some of us are guilty of living in the same household with our spouses and end up communicating via text messages, or Facebook. However, that is an extreme example.

To justify my position for greater use of social media in education, take a look at the following Infographic from Online Universities. They took the time to review and evaluate the pros and cons of social media in education. You can determine whether social media use in education is a stone age tool, or a stepping stone into the future of educational enhancement.

Surviving the College Dining Hall
Via: Online Universities Blog