In today’s digital era, many educational institutions are adapting social media into their education system. However, social media is a powerful tool with both positive and negative influences on students. While it has revolutionized communication and access to information, we can also write some negative influences it has on students.
Some people argue that students already devote a lot of time on social media outside school hours, so why not do it during school as well? This question is why educators continue to explore the role of social media in learning, and how best to implement it in schools. In this post, we analyze the role of social media in education by exploring the pros and cons for students.
The Role and Benefits of Social Media in Education: 8 Empowering Effects on Students
Easy information sharing
One of the main advantages of social media in learning is how easy students can share information, links, and other digital content on the platforms with friends, classmates, teachers, alumni and other connections. Most students are connected to the internet much of the time through laptops, tablets and smartphones. It’s easy to transmit information, tips, views, study materials, and other kinds of useful educational content on social platforms.
Facilitates collaboration outside the classroom
Social media facilitates online student discussions in groups and forums outside the classroom. It allows them to interact with peers from around the world to ask questions, make comments, and initiate debates. For example, college students can attend conferences from different parts of the world through videoconferencing. Through collaboration, learners gain a deeper understanding of the cultural background and language of other people around the world.
Develop communication skills
Social media can either improve or worsen a student’s ability to communicate. Some students find that texting, blogging, and tweeting boosts self-esteem that allows them to express themselves better via social media. Moreover, social media provides a good platform for spreading and debating ideas with peers.
One of the top benefits of social media in education is that it can be very helpful to students when building networks. It’s easy for students to find mentors or prospective employers through interaction on social media sites, such as LinkedIn. By graduation, they already have a network of contacts to help them start off their career.
Promotes active learning
Using social media in education increases student engagement since they can contribute to discussions by writing comments, completing quizzes, and live streaming their views. You don’t have to wait until the next class to ask questions. You can quickly post it and get responses on social media. This way, the students connect with class material and access tailored content, which improves understanding of the subject.
Build brand identity
Social media is used to amplify university and student branding. University administrators use social media to develop a positive brand reputation for their institution in order to attract new students, promote school events, increase endorsements, and improve alumni relations. Students can also use social media to publish papers and develop their individual professional brand.
Social media is user-friendly and free of charge. So it’s a reliable medium of communication for students who often operate on a tight budget. Students can enroll in various educational programs, new courses, events, and research programs for free using social media.
Extend learning opportunities
Social media has unleashed new learning opportunities, such as online classes and remote internships. Social media supports study from home without having to meet up with teachers and other students. It’s easy for educators to share announcements and to hold live lectures on social media.
Drawbacks of Using Social Media in Education for Students
One of the most apparent drawbacks of social media in education is its ability to distract students from their academic tasks, which reduces their overall productivity. Students find themselves checking their social status frequently, which takes away from their focus on education. In addition, Social media can breed procrastination.
Addiction and time-wasting
Social media can be highly addictive, which interferes with a student’s personal and academic responsibilities. If you are an ardent social media user, you’ll likely find it hard to finish research assignments at some point in your studies. If that happens to you, don’t stress or get desperate. Instead, visit a custom research paper writing service and ask professional writers for assistance with your writing emergency.
Inability maintain face-to-face interaction
Overuse of social media can have a negative impact on a student’s ability to interact in the real world. For example, it makes it difficult for them to develop proper body language and nonverbal cues used in physical interactions, such as public speaking. The situation is true even for video calls and conferences.
Exposure to inappropriate content
There’s a variety of inappropriate content on social media, including violence, hate speech, and pornography. Exposure to such content can affect a student’s development and well-being. Students are especially vulnerable since their critical thinking skills are still developing and may not identify and evaluate content effectively.
Misinformation and fake news
Social media is often used to spread fake news and misinformation that can be confusing and harmful to students. Such writing can influence decision-making and opinion, undermining the credibility of reliable sources of information. Thus, students must be critical consumers of information by verifying accuracy and reliability of sources.
Social media use in education exposes students to harassment, cyberbullying, and other online dangers that can affect their mental health. It can take many forms, including threatening messages, sharing embarrassment, impersonation, and exposure of sensitive information online. Cyberbullying can affect students’ effectiveness by increasing stress, depression, and anxiety.
The use of social media in higher education and other learning institutions compromises personal privacy. The platforms collect private data of users, such as names, phone numbers, address, photos, and location. The lack of privacy exposes students to serious consequences, such as stalking and identity theft.
Fosters comparison and negative self-image
Social media in education can foster comparison and negative self-image for students because they feel pressure to be perfect or present an idealized version of themselves online. This can result in self-esteem issues, distorted sense of reality, and feelings of inadequacy.
Certain Considerations Must Be Made Before Using Social Media in Education
The ability of social media to ease learning is obvious, but it requires overcoming persistent negative impacts, such as distraction, cyberbullying, and misinformation. Before the collaboration, educators and students need to have purposeful discussions about the pros and cons of social media using realistic case studies. This way, students understand how the platforms can enhance and impede academic performance. Knowing where, when, and with whom to use social media for educational purposes will result in the best learning outcomes for students.