Using Social Networking in Education
Most people would probably assume that today social networking and education are now pretty interrelated.
Social networking platforms are part of mainstream culture. As such, it just makes sense for education programs to adopt them as well another tool for teaching. In fact, one study reports that 96% of students in the U.S. who have internet access use social networking technologies for blogging, chatting, online communities and more.
To put it another way, it is about leveraging today’s technology for learning purposes, especially if today’s students are already used to using them. For instance, 59% of surveyed students indicated that they talk about education related topics via their social networks, 50% of which regarding homework specifically.
How Schools Use Social Networking
With so many people using social networks, how are the schools effectively using them to reach students and enhance the learning experience?
While there are a variety of ways these programs can be used, some specific examples include:
- Having student website programs
- Creating and maintaining Wikis
- Using a classroom specific LMS
- Online pen pal programs
- Requiring students to write blog responses to course content
- Participating in classroom forums
Seeing as how many students already do this on a regular basis across other sites, it only seems logical to extend it to the classroom, doing so can have very positive benefits. By way of example, according to the Young Adult Library Learning Services, social networking tools are helpful in improving reading and writing skills.
As distance learning (and MOOCs) start to dominate the education, don’t be surprised to see greater importance put into these online methods of social interaction.
Grunwald Associates LLC
National School Boards Association