When we remember why social media first emerged then we might think like this platforms are for only personal use and personal communication. But nowadays many scholarly articles and research discuss if it is still true. They are trying to define if are there any benefits or drawbacks of technology for education. Because technology and social media are everywhere and everybody using those 24/7. Also, everything is changing in education and in technology.
Until I took some classes this semester, I was not sure how to integrate social media into the classroom and how faculty could use it effectively for the sake of the class. But then, I read some of the articles such as ‘Using Social Media to Listen and Learn from Students and ‘The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual) – A literature review‘. Those showed me how usage of social media changed over the time. Because their publish dates are 4 years apart and still results or their claims are way different than each other.
As Stoller said, social media can help institutions and faculties to collect better data than any survey or questionnaire most of the time. Of course they should evaluate the responses if there is an unrelated one, but still, institutions and faculty can reach students better via social media. He also said “Students who are more engaged w/ their university are more successful + more likely to be retained. Digital engagement matters.”. As a communication person of the program, I can say that it is correct for our Landscape Architecture program as well. Most of the time, very engaged students with our program website and social media, also engaged with the program as well. And those students are generally more successful ones and have a better relationship with faculty as far as my observation. This social media channels also help to build community engagement for school and for the class.
Other ways of learning also introduced thanks to social media. As students learn about their program and school’s particular events, services, events and more, they can also follow classes through social media channels if faculty agree to use it. For example, if somebody is sick, that person can connect to the classroom through social media and do not miss any class or attend a meeting by using the same method. Blogs also are used as a learning environment. Faculty and students can propose their ideas on the same platform or they can interact with each other through social media. Facebook and Twitter also can be used for the same purpose. In other words, all social media platforms can be useful for higher education, students, and faculty if they can define the correct way to use those.