Higher Education as we know it has changed some over the years but not drastically. I cannot say the same for technology and the people using technology, both of which have change so much in such a short period of time. I am one that embraced the Internet wave in the 90’s and I am totally riding this new technology wave that we are experiencing currently. To even call it a technology wave is minimizing it’s impact on the world.
Social Media has literally taken us by storm and has changed how we communicate, engage with others and even how we do business. It has become such an essential part of our lives in such a short span of time. I love the changes and how its given us the ability to interact with so many people from all over the world. I have learned so much from some of the people that I interact with on a daily basis from so many different countries.
A huge part of Social Media has been learning, that’s why the natural progression of social media usage should move into education. The possibilities and benefits of Social Media usage in all classrooms are almost endless, but movement into a college and university setting is almost essential for the growth of student education.
So many Universities are recognizing the benefits of a more technology driven education system by adopting online education, but I have yet to hear of Social Media being used as a complement to the curriculum. I would love to see more Social Media use by professors to open the door of communication with students. New students are totally engrossed in technology, social media and most are constantly glued to their mobile device. This is why it is almost essential that colleges and universities start to embrace and integrate these technologies into their teaching methodologies. It could act to open the door of communication with students, extend the reach of the professor and ultimately to drag some higher education establishments out of the dark ages.
A few easy ways that college professors could integrate social media:
- Create a Facebook Page for your class: This could be used to post essential information about the class, the expectations etc. It would allow instant interaction between student and professor.
- Create a Facebook Group as well: This could act as an avenue for students to talk, engage and get to know one another. Students could also ask questions, gain feedback and hold discussions about coursework, projects and other expectations.
- Create a Blog for your class: The blog could have the class syllabus, course outline, grading procedures etc. This is great because students are mobile and this would be a great channel for students to log in and find out essential information about the class right from their mobile device. There could even be posts that include research tips, reading materials etc.
- Add QR Codes to the mix as well!