Social Media is a way for people to connect and share information across a vast platform. While many people consider social media the “go-to” thing for leisure reasons, social media is becoming increasingly more prominent in the world in more ways than one.
Recently some university professors have been trying out ways to incorporate social media into their classes.
Texas State mass communication professor, Cindy Royal, says that her students benefit from the increased communication with class assignments through the integration with social media.
“I think the key to teaching is repetition. More communication and repetition of assignments is better than less.”
There’s much diversity when it comes to social media. Each social media platform serves a different function that its users can utilize. Facebook has become a social place for users. Instagram allows users to snap, edit and share photos. Twitter is becoming increasingly active as a place to receive news and connect with professionals. Linkedin serves as an online resume to potential job seekers.
“The big three are Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Twitter is very important because it’s an easy platform to be able to connect with different kinds of people. Linkedin is more of the professional social network. I think a lot of students don’t have a Linkedin and that’s the one that I say go out and get on.”
Royal’s assignments in some of her classes involve the creation of blogs, videos, and page layouts and are interconnected with different social media platforms. Royal tries to keep her students up to date on the different social media services out there and likes to constantly try out new social platforms.
“I try whatever comes out. I try to work some of the location services into my classroom. I tried to do a few exercises this past year using Pinterest. We used it for our South by Southwest project.”
Last semester during Mass Communication week, Twitter was encouraged and professionals and students interacted through the site with the use of tweets and hashtags.
The practice of having students interact and learn about social media certainly has its benefits. Through sites like Twitter or Linkedin, students are able to get in contact with many top professionals that may help them land a job after graduation. Even though social media does have advantages to helping students learn and network, it can come with disadvantages when not utilized correctly. Students should stay on the side of caution in the ways they use the sites.
“I don’t think there is anything about social media that can change a lazy student and make them not lazy.”
Despite some problems the sites can cause, social media is still continuing to grow as a helpful aid in education. Royal says, any person from any major or career field can benefit from the uses of social media
“I feel like its that way for a lot of fields. You can keep in touch with any kind of field via social media.”
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Colin Ashby, KTSW News