The world has gone digital, and everything from how we purchase goods and services to how we learn has changed. Technology has brought many advantages that have made the world smaller and more manageable. The birth of social media platforms, just like other aspects of technology, has come with its pros and cons. According to Mydissertations.com, social media has influenced the way the educational system works. It has improved the quality of learning as well as student-teacher interaction. Does this mean it is all good? Keep reading to find out more.
Social Media In Higher Education: Strategies
There are several strategies that universities can use to maximize the benefits of social media. It could be anything from creating social media groups, sponsoring university trends, to encouraging student-guided online classes. Whatever strategy is selected, the students must play significant roles in the process. If there will be student groups, make sure that the groups have students as admins and not just instructors. The students should have a sense of community, and they should be free to participate in all the activities. Updates on social activities should be posted on the social media groups for every participant to see. Students should not be held accountable for comments on the group to promote free speech.
Social Media In Higher Education: Benefits
The benefits of social media in higher education cannot be overemphasized. For starters, it can be used as a powerful tool to promote research and innovation. Rather than depend only on the traditional means of reaching out to researchers, social media can increase the reach of research universities that are actively seeking innovators. Apart from this, another benefit of social media in higher education is that it can be used to promote the culture, curriculum, and extracurricular activities in the university. Don’t forget that it can be used as a fundraising and alumni engagement tool. Instead of depending on the phone and direct mail campaigns for fundraising, universities can use social media channels to reach out to prospective contributors. It is cheaper, more engaging, and more fun. Social media networks can also be used as a crisis communication tool. So, when something is wrong, the information can spread like wildfire.
Social Media In Higher Education: Challenges
There is no advancement in technology that doesn’t have challenges, and this includes the use of social media in higher institutions. One of the greatest challenges these institutions face is streamlining multiple departments and faculties to ensure inclusion. While it’s easy to create and manage a group for individual departments at different levels, the case is different when it comes to creating a social media group for the entire university. While it’s not impossible, managing such a group is going to be difficult, and there is no way to ensure that every student becomes a member. If there are many separate groups, ensuring that every group follows the same principles that have been laid out by the school isn’t going to be easy. That is especially true when students are in control of such groups. Another challenge is that these social media groups can be used for misinformation when they are not managed properly. A student can decide to cause a panic by posting that a particular part of the university is on fire. Without verifying the information, other students will share it and cause a campus-wide panic.
The bottom line is that social media can be a powerful tool if it is properly integrated by higher institutions. While there are a few challenges that come with this integration, the benefits are worth it. Many leading universities across the globe are already taking full advantage of social media in promoting the sense of community, research, inclusion, and much more. Some universities have social media managers who are in charge of everything related to social media, including delegating.