Social media in education: Can they improve learning?

Using social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and so on provides free access to online communication and information. What if the school took advantage of it? Can they contribute to improving learning and teaching? Check out some examples of the benefits of social media in the classroom.

How Learning Is Enhanced By Using Social Media In Education?

Today, both social media and technology have become an inseparable part of our lives. Every individual over the age of 13 will have their account on one of the popular social media networks like Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. WhatsApp has raised the minimum age to 16. Students use a variety of online tools to meet different requirements. It would not be wrong to say that social media and education go hand in hand in the modern world.
However, the question that arises is: how are social online networks useful for students? Is there a way that social media in education can benefit learners and help fill gaps in learning if used in a safe and appropriate way?
Here are some educational approaches and benefits of social media to improve students’ academic performance:

Communication and Collaboration

The biggest advantage of social media is better communication. A student can connect with anyone at any time via Kids Messenger or WhatsApp. They can use the platform via their smartphone, tablet or computer, and students can exchange questions, make phone calls or video calls. If a student is stuck with their homework, they can always communicate with their friend or tutor. They don’t have to wait and meet the teacher physically. Social media promotes learning by offering support by sharing documents as well as through Google Drive Box, Google Docs. Some teachers even connect with their classes via Facebook directly, as this American teacher does by reading bedtime stories to her students every night.

Finding Concrete Information Online

Various websites and social media networks provide a wealth of information that can help students. Through social media news feeds, students can find informational and relevant websites they want to follow so that they can be kept in the loop. Depending on their interests, students can find answers to their questions. Sites, like Tumblr and Pinterest, can offer kids inspiration for school projects or practical problem solving.
The educational benefits of social networking sites are also that they help students prepare for important lessons and learn certain concepts very effectively. Social media websites will contain up-to-date data on various school subjects and thus, students have the opportunity to survey and see what is new. Social media is Wikipedia for current students.


Parental Involvement

Social media helps parents stay involved in their child’s learning. Through the school’s Twitter or Facebook, parents can be updated on ongoing school-related activities, projects and events. School teachers can contact parents if they want to share their child’s progress via Skype or any other secure online platform the institution uses. A social network for parents can also be created via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which can allow them to be notified about school, learning and educational issues.
These are all positive effects of social media on parents’ communication with schools to learn, share, and observe their children’s academic and personal progress at school. This is again a positive impact of social media on student performance as their parents can offer better academic support at home.

Improved Literacy, Communication, and Reading Skills

It is usually observed that students get bored of reading and writing, however, the internet and social media provide a lot of online information that often students are more inclined to read, especially if the pieces of information include eye-catching animations. Online messages, comments, news, articles, and books provide an endless list of information to read, and students are motivated to devote their time and put some extra effort into their learning.
Such online activities contribute to a child’s general learning, and children eventually develop stronger reading habits which result in drastic improvements in their writing skills. Social media sites are mostly interactive and this is sure to keep students engaged. Hug