It shouldn’t come as a surprise that social media has changed more than just how we pass the time, it has now infused itself into formal learning channels. Although adoption is slow (for instance, only 15% of teachers find value in Facebook, Wiki, and other social networks), time will only show that it will rise. Interestingly though, about one third of teachers surveyed for this infographic say they use social networking or social media for their instruction.
Seeing as social media is now mainstream, to what extent do we combine it with instructional design methodology? Is it possible to get beyond just the standard “youtube” clip, and engage learners in a way that they are accustomed to every day? I think this is a thin line, but if done correctly, could prove valuable.
The one thing that should be avoided at all costs is relying upon social media as the main venue for the learning at hand. Be it in a school with teenagers or a professional conference with adults, social media without substance to support it is just a distraction, and quite frankly not all that effective – similar to an elearning course overloaded with bells and whistles. Resorting to the “cool” factor in training or educational settings has rarely produced desired results. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the correct way.
My personal opinion is to use social media (or any “glitzy” functionality) in low quantities. If the social media truly supports the training, or reinforces learning in the classroom, then by all means give it a go. But be judicious, and use it sparingly - doing so will increase its effectiveness over time.