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How is Social Media Changing Higher Education?

How is Social Media Changing Higher Education?

Many teachers of Social media have adopted an everyday practice of incorporating digital technologies in the classroom and extending learning beyond the traditional boundaries of the Institution.

Distance Education

Distance education is high on the agenda of most higher education institutes and a great deal of effort and time has been investing into staff development to ensure that teachers are up to date and aware of how to teach remotely using new technologies.

It’s not only the role of the teacher that has changed. The embedding of digital technology into everyday study has also changed the way students learn. Now students can assume more responsibility for their own learning and design their own study trajectories. They are able to access a vast pool of knowledge through access to the World Wide Web. They can learn anywhere, anytime.

Since the web has become more social, students today share experiences and knowledge; they can communicate with their teachers after hours, communicate with peers, and enhance their learning experience.

Today’s students are multi-tasking, possessing the ability to access and decipher the information. Students are more at ease with changing technologies. Social media enables them to be hearing and provide feedback. Studying is no longer a one-way street from teacher to student but a two-way collaborative effort. Social media Marketing gave the students a voice in their learning process.

Higher Learning Institutions

In many higher learning institutions blogs, wikis, and social media tools ease the way to create collaboration between students. Social media tools support sharing and building of knowledge.  Projects given to students as a group are now easier to perform since the geographical restrictions have been removing. Blogs are using for learning another language, projects can post on Youtube for the whole class (and the world) to see and project descriptions are posted online with due dates. Social bookmarking is use by our professors to list the reading requirements of the course and give students the key to resources online.

Experts in any field are more accessible today through social media. An expert’s tweets about his experiences can provide a learning experience and insight into the professional world never possible before. A question can posting to an expert on his social page or his blog and a dialogue started that would have taken weeks to arrange in the pre-social media world.

And it starts even before the learning begins. Some institutions, for example, use Facebook pages to reach out to students before they first arrive on campus. With many of them leaving home for the first time, knowing some of their classmates before they arrive can support them in this time of transition.

Social media and Skype enable face-time with a teacher for a one on one session. When there’s no time during school hours, it can be done during evening hours and across time zones. . Schools today use cloud storage that enables their students the use an expensive program from home, for a limited time. They provide space for the storage of group projects where all the group members can enter and make changes.

Walden University’s Doctorate in Education program

As part of Walden University’s Doctorate in Education program, I was amaze and shock at the learning process. While it was exciting to be able to work at a unique pace and have access to classmates and instructors at different times of the day, from the comfort of my home. I also found that the use of such technology was led by those who struggle to understand it. Having academics try to lead topics citing the internet and multiple intelligence theory was horrifying because most could not relate or lacked an understanding of the base.

One of the most foolish policies I ever heard started from Michigan State University, repeated at Stony Brook University, and then echo in Walden University’s DC residency, “Wikipedia is not a source and should never be use”.  

Wikipedia Sources

The shock and awe were outstanding, it was as if the professors just repeat something that they were told and never actually took the time to do any research for themselves. While you might not directly cite Wikipedia as a source, this collaborative site for knowledge has been found by research to be more accurate than the Encyclopedia Britannica. In research, a process requires a starting point and is benefit for diverse experiences and information. It is hard to truly argue that there is a better source than Wikipedia.

new technology include messaging and social media alerts are ways for schools in the US to alert the student to an emergency situation.

What new challenges does this pose?

Keeping teachers ahead of the curve with continued education regarding technological possibilities and with so much information, educating the students to know what is credible and whatnot, what is important and what not, and be able to figure out the source of the information they come in contact with. The digital era and social media revolution are in full swing, all they need now is guidance.