The Role of Social Media in Education

As part of the PIDP 3240 course I have explored the use of various types of social media within education.  This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogging and creating a Wiki.  Since social media technology is so widely used everywhere in the world it only makes sense that we as educators make use of these as educational tools.

I believe that using social media we can enhance communication between students and educators.  It also makes the course more exciting and interactive and with the result that the learner is engaged.  I particularly see YouTube as an educational resource.  In fact we have our own YouTube channel at the Baking & Pastry Department where instructors are video taped during various demonstrations of techniques or procedures.  It is then an invaluable resource to the student, who can then go home and view the video – thus making these YouTube videos and excellent source of learning.

During the process of creating my own Blog I also began to see the value of such a tool in education.  It would be the perfect way for students to submit smaller assignments and ask questions.  Facebook can also be used for communication and group discussion.

I really enjoyed learning how to create a Wiki.  I will definitely be using this tool in future for any type of group assignment.  It gives students a completely different and interactive platform to work from and they can see each other’s work in progress.

One cannot replace face to face communication with the use of social media since this is an integral part of education and learning.  Rather, social media can be used to enhance the educational experience, promote communication and group discussion and used as a tool to engage students.  This must also be done in a controlled and structured manner in order to prevent student distraction.

I am excited to use these various social media tools in my next course and am looking forward to implementing what I have learned during this course.

Advertisements

The use of Twitter in Education

In this video blog entry “The use of Twitter in education is discussed” based on the website http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/10/more-than-a-third-of-higher-education-faculty-are-on-twitter/.

On the website the post relating to “100 ways to teach with Twitter” is the most popular.  Twitter has more than 100 million users, with over 300,000 new users signing up every day.  Usually there is a bit of a lag in terms of the adoption of new technologies in education and it is thus surprising that this particular post is receiving so much attention.  A study was done asking educators the question “Do you use Twitter?” and thus study revealed that 30.7% in 2009 and then 35.2% in 2010 answered “yes I use it” thus showing a 4.5% increase.

The two main reasons educators are using Twitter is to share information with peers and as a real time news source.   The use of Twitter in the classroom as a learning tool is not as popular, but is growing.

There are opposing views on using Twitter in the classroom – some people are for, and others against the use of this technology.

Upon my initial viewing of this video I was found the content interesting.   I do not use Twitter, and if fact only signed up as part of the PIDP course.  The statistics mentioned regarding the number of Twitter users is somewhat staggering.

I think for us this means that we could explore the use of Twitter as a learning tool.  But I believe that this is only possible in a classroom where all the students are voluntarily signed up to Twitter and it should not be a pre-requisite as part of a course.   I think that other tools such as blogging are more effective as a learning tool in that it encourages more detailed communication.  Posting something on Twitter is usually just one sentence and can show an idea or opinion, but there is no room for reflection.  I think that Twitter may be used to convey information such as assignment due dates or changes in classroom locations, but this can just as easily be conveyed through other social media tools such as Facebook or Blogging.

I will explore the use of Twitter as a learning tool at the start of my next class in the fall semester.    More so as an experiment, to see if I can make good use of it, or not.  I think it would be interesting to see what does come out of using it as an education tool.

 

Technology and Trends in Education: “The use of YouTube”

Belinda Kaplan

PIDP 3240

June 18, 2012

One of the most fascinating and useful Web 2.0 applications, in my opinion, is YouTube.  In fact, I usually try to incorporate at least one YouTube video into each lecture.  I believe that this use of a different instructional technique changes the pace of the class and allows the lecture to be more interesting.

YouTube videos are particularly useful for demonstrating a technique i.e. vegetable cutting which the students can observe.  I then follow this with a demonstration of my own and lastly the students themselves are then given the opportunity to practice the same technique.  In effect I use YouTube as an introduction to the lesson or technique of the day.

YouTube is a treasure chest when it comes to a source of information.  One only has to type in a keyword and search to have dozens of videos appear within the required subject.  Students also find YouTube as a very interactive platform.

A particular section of YouTube called YouTubeEDU is an online classroom where learners can watch an education video to learn almost anything.  This platform also allows for educators to create educational videos and thus brings the school or educational institution into the realm of the global classroom.7

YouTube can be accessed via the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/t/education

http://www.youtube.com/

Technology and Trends in Education “Top 5 Uses of Social Media in Education”

Belinda Kaplan

PIDP 3240

June 18, 2012

I found this article by Cyndi Laurenti particularly fascinating.  A very interesting statistic mentioned is that “1 in 14 people on earth has a Facebook account.”    She also states that social media is used to enhance online learning.  Furthermore Cyndi describes five uses of social media in an educational environment.

Firstly it brings about enhanced collaboration and allows students to work together in groups within the different platforms of social media.

Secondly she elaborates on how students can view recorded lectures and materials outside the classroom to bring about “flipping.”  In a nutshell this is the student being in charge of their own learning at home and then completing their homework in school.  Teachers then act as guides within the classroom, assisting students with problems they may have.

Thirdly social media is way of passing real time information from teachers to students and vice versa.  Teachers can assign work to students and students can communicate directly with teachers.

Fourthly social media brings about collaboration between educators in that curriculum documents such as lesson plans can easily be shared and ideas communicated.

Fifthly Cyndi talks about open source social media.  This is an alternative form of social media – similar to a Facebook platform but set up by an educational institution and controlled by them.  Thus this is not as public as something like Facebook, but built along a similar platform and functioning in a similar way.

 

It is evident by looking at these 5 points that social media is changing education in a very significant way and the only way to keep up as educators is for us to use and incorporate this technology.

 

References

Laurenti, C. (2011, November 17). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.technology-digital.com/social_media/top-five-uses-of-social-media-in-education

Technology and Trends in Education “Social Media in Education: The Power of Facebook”

Belinda Kaplan

PIDP 3240

June 18, 2012

 

This article was written in 2010 by Heather Wolpert-Gawron in which she describes how she initially used Facebook for personal use and then this progressed to a more professional level in communicating with other educators.  She goes as far as to say that “Facebook is a place of professional learning and development.”

She began using Facebook more professionally to publish issues of importance.  She outlines two examples in particular.  Both of these show how Facebook has been an avenue of bringing about change in various communities.

The first is how the creation of a Facebook page educated people about the threat that Buffelgrass presented, and that it in fact was a” plague-like weed.”  This then spilled over into YouTube and eventually various politicians and farmers also became enlightened as to the dangers of Buffelgrass.  Inevitably this brought about a change in the community through the use of Facebook.

The second example is about a “Teachers letters to Obama” Facebook campaign which started simply and grew into a movement which gained the attention of the US government.  The focus of this Facebook group was Elementary and Secondary education and eventually around 2000 teachers had their voices heard and which innovative solutions would be suggested to congress.  These teachers could communicate ideas and solutions which would be incorporated into legislation…and that through Facebook.

These are just two examples of how Facebook can impact the lives of people and bring about changes through educating and enlightening individuals, groups, communities, organizations and even governments.

 

References

Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2010, May 07). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/social-media-education-examples-facebook

 

This article was written in 2010 by Heather Wolpert-Gawron in which she describes how she initially used Facebook for personal use and then this progressed to a more professional level in communicating with other educators.  She goes as far as to say that “Facebook is a place of professional learning and development.”

She began using Facebook more professionally to publish issues of importance.  She outlines two examples in particular.  Both of these show how Facebook has been an avenue of bringing about change in various communities.

The first is how the creation of a Facebook page educated people about the threat that Buffelgrass presented, and that it in fact was a” plague-like weed.”  This then spilled over into YouTube and eventually various politicians and farmers also became enlightened as to the dangers of Buffelgrass.  Inevitably this brought about a change in the community through the use of Facebook.

The second example is about a “Teachers letters to Obama” Facebook campaign which started simply and grew into a movement which gained the attention of the US government.  The focus of this Facebook group was Elementary and Secondary education and eventually around 2000 teachers had their voices heard and which innovative solutions would be suggested to congress.  These teachers could communicate ideas and solutions which would be incorporated into legislation…and that through Facebook.

These are just two examples of how Facebook can impact the lives of people and bring about changes through educating and enlightening individuals, groups, communities, organizations and even governments.

 

References

Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2010, May 07). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/social-media-education-examples-facebook

Hello world!

I am creating a Blog as part of my assignments for the PIPD 3240 class.   This is one of the courses in the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program.