How do Schools use Social Media?

I’d prefer someone else to be the first on a new roller coaster.  I’d also like to wait a little while and hear feedback on the new restaurant that opened up in town.  I’d even wait on the newest tech gadget to be released in order for the bugs to get worked out.

But, after a while, I do like to dive in to things that I know can make my life easier or filled with more enjoyment.

Social media is making such huge inroads into education. The affordances this move provides way outnumber its risks and hence the pervasive embrace of social media within many schools and colleges. Stats coming out of different studies and surveys prove it: 84% of universities and colleges now use Twitter to reach out to students. The visual below sheds more light on the use of social media in education and provides interesting numbers and stats about this use.

social-media

Here is a brief round-up of the main ways schools use social media:

In class:

  • Class announcements and discussions are shared on sites like Twitter
  • Professors share learning materials and more on blogs and networking sites.

Potential students:

  • Colleges offer virtual tours that include 360 images and videos
  • Colleges can reach out to potential students who mention them on Twitter or comment on the school’s blog

School pride:

  • Colleges create mascot Facebook pages to encourage school spirit
  • Free school swag and materials are offered online

Incorporation in the Existing System: How schools use social media
For a generation who spends their maximum time in the virtual space, focus must lie on the key interests and needs of students while using social media in education. Also social media provide ways to enhance connection with students as it brings them closer by alleviating the necessity of physical presence. Here are some interesting ways in which schools use or can use social media in the 21st century teaching and learning .

Stay Connected
a) Active, at times cost free promotion can be done on virtual groups, pages and blogs , also allowing feedback and further interaction at the same time.
b) Schools can even interact with parents and keep each other informed.
c) Alumni groups can maintain connection.

social-media-school

The good and the better
while many schools have adopted social media successfully, some have not been able to use it to its full advantage. Here are some suggestions for the good and ways in which others have made themselves better.

Using tools such as monitoring, necessary pre-post approval, teachers have been able to maintain the social health of their interactive space.

  1. Implementing Connection
    through encouraging student participation, the social aspect of learning has been achieved.
  2. Online Personality Management
    The school’s online picture says a lot about the school. By allowing content space for students, faculty and prospective students, the virtual presence of the school is enhanced.

The wide outreach and consumption statistics of social media shows that it is an addition to life that is here to stay. What do you think about the feasibility of incorporating this resource for enhancing education?

 

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