Sunday, June 26, 2011

Using social media for education

It's been a while since my last blog post and it's good to be blogging again. I came across the latest Social Media Revolution video by Erik Qualman (@equalman), author of the best-selling book Socialnomics, and was once again amazed at the statistics and the huge impact that social media has on our everyday lives. Can you believe social media as a whole is probably less than five years old? Now think about what the future would be like for online engagement and communication five years from now? Isn't that just exciting!

Now how does it relate to our current (and future) education system? I believe that schools at all levels from primary to post-secondary should use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to better engage with students both inside and outside the classroom. Online group discussions on Facebook or Twitter should be the norm in order to encourage social and continuous learning among students anytime and anywhere. A recent study showed that using Twitter for educational purposes in the classroom doubled student engagement compared to traditional learning methods. Interestingly enough, it also increased students' GPAs. Although a small sample size was used, this study still shows that there is opportunity to use Twitter and even Facebook in class to teach and engage students in discussion since most students are on it anyway while their professor is lecturing in the background.

Do you agree or disagree about using social media in (and even outside) the classrooms to better engage students? I'd like to know your comments.