Social networks engage students no matter what the platform

College students standing in clusters and talking

The increase of new, exciting technologies in recent years has improved opportunities worldwide for better student engagement in classrooms. Creating communities of learning, networking, and issue-awareness, social media has piqued the interest of many learners; and, statistics show that the trend is increasing among adults every year. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly 76% of all online adults (ages 18+) utilize social media. Such findings highlight the tremendous opportunity professors have to connect and build interactions amongst students.

Dr. Alec Couros, professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, is an expert in creating online communities and integrating social media/technological resources into the classroom. As opposed to many other Learning Management Systems (such as Brightspace, Desire2Learn, etc), he proposes the use of “Small Tools Loosely Joined” (STLJ). This type of system allows students to be completely immersed in the use of all that this digital age has to offer… Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, Facebook, Wiki, Google Hangouts, and much more. Utilizing such tools effectively in courses, emphasize and promote the importance of digital citizenship.

Having been in courses that integrated social media into course assignments, and as methods of communication, I found myself more engaged and apt to participate in discussions. There are many who doubt the affect technology/social media can have on a classroom’s culture; but, this video highlights ways it has been effective in courses, the importance of such innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and student perspectives on the need for more integrated technological methods.

 

 

About the Author
Nakia Williams

Nakia Williams

Nakia Williams is often described as a leader of integrity, compassion, and dedication who dedicates himself to the service of others. Whether it is through volunteering and teaching at the local Boys & Girls Club, ministering and speaking to groups of young people across the country, or spending time with the elderly at nursing homes, he understands that we are all blessed in order to be a blessing to others.

Having grown up in the small, rural town of Waynesboro, GA, Nakia quickly came to understand that continued education and learning would be the avenue to opening big doors of opportunity in his life. Now a CIS student at Georgia State University, that same drive and thirst for learning and interacting with others has intensified. Being involved with the National Society of Leadership & Success, as well as Teach for America, his leadership has strongly focused on positively impacting education, and inspiring all generations to always learn.

 

References

Couros, A. (n.d.). Building Online/Blended Course Environments. Game Changer Series. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfF0kP42ar8

—. (n.d.). Building Online/Blended Course Environments Notes. GoogleDoc. Retrieved from  https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ddREAExFLc9sn-vsh3_60DZZH9FkyyCmE0lF1aH8DA/edit

—. (n.d.). Open Thinking Wiki.  Retrieved from https://couros.wikispaces.com/

—. (n.d.). Using Social Media in Education. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp-hOtokd34

Pew Research Center. (2015, 1 July). Social Networking Use. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/media-and-technology/social-networking-use/