Below, you will discover the advantages and disadvantages of social media for students. With everybody urged to stay home for almost the entire year, people have flocked to social media to maintain social connections. The same happened with academic interactions.
Schools worldwide have adopted a mix of distance learning, and social media seems to be a big part of it. From student-teacher chatrooms to class pages as bulletin boards, social media has become an essential part of today’s learning.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media for students.
There must be a reason why social media use is so prevalent in the academic setting today. Its advantages are undeniable. There is much to be gained from using social media for students. Here are some examples of its benefits.
Reliable means of communication
Group projects, reports, papers, and other announcements are easily accessible through social media. Social media is an effective broadcast system if you want several people to know about something. This is why social media marketing exists.
The same principle applies to the academic use of social media for educational purposes. Students who are in group projects can collaborate easily as their generation is more inclined to use social media as a tool to advance in their education.
Option to study from home
In situations where physical learning is not possible, education can still move on with the help of social media. Students can learn from the comfort of their own home. This is also a significant plus for overseas students or students from a different state since it eliminates the need for transportation and lodging.
Social media is a powerful tool that makes distance learning possible. Students won’t need to meet up unnecessarily, thus also cutting high costs even for in-state students.
Better student participation
Sometimes, the prospect of participating in class in front of an entire group of people you barely know is stressful. For this reason, a lot of shy students remain silent during class discussions because they feel awkward voicing themselves in a crowd.
With social media, the physical distance from the rest of the group lessens this stress as well as the students’ inhibition to provide their input and opinion on topics that are open for discussion. Professors and instructors are sometimes surprised by how some students who are usually wallflowers suddenly become very active in an online setting.
Readily available discussion
With social media, you don’t have to wait until the next meeting before you can ask a question. Since it is up and running all day and night, students can quickly post a question or challenge that they’ve encountered with a lesson or activity.
On the teacher’s end, they could also address these concerns without having to wait until the next session. An alternative would be to gather all of the students’ questions in between meetings so that the teacher can discuss it in the following session. The second option is best if the problems require thorough research or an opportunity to discuss within the class.
Free flow of information
And because the students can quickly post questions and answers any time needed, the information is freely flowing throughout the entire class. Everyone will have access to the information provided by the teacher and the discussions opened by other students.
This will make learning like a continuous process that is not limited to only a few sessions within classrooms. All students have access to it anywhere they can, for as long as they have a phone and an internet connection.
Nothing is perfect. Social media is far from perfect. You cannot avoid that aside from advantages, there are also disadvantages of social media for students. Here are a couple of risks associated with social media use.
The most apparent disadvantage that social media has is its ability to distract students from learning. It will take a lot of discipline to keep your focus on lessons if there are social and entertainment notifications in the same place that you are having your academics.
The lost ability for face-to-face interaction
An actual physical class is still different from online learning. Social media can negatively impact students’ ability to interact in a real-world setting. There are subtleties in communication, such as body language and nonverbal cues that make up a significant portion of conversations beyond just words.
With the increased use of social media, students may weaken or eventually lose their ability to connect socially the way people do when face-to-face. This is even true with video calls and conferences because a large portion of body language can not effectively translate through video.
Finally, there seems to be more social hostility in social media. Since people are less-inhibited to say what they want, some don’t just become more participative. They can become quite harsh and combative with their words.
Personal attacks and bullying are common in social media. If students are increasing their use of social media for academic purposes, they are consequently also increasing their exposure to the risk of cyber-bullying. Similarly, they also get exposed to other cybercriminals who can steal and exploit them.
As you can see, there are different advantages and disadvantages of social media for students. The challenge is to learn how to take advantage of social media’s benefits while minimizing the identified risks.
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