Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Social Media in the Classroom: Taking Facebook as an Example

Created by: Carlee Andress & Ryan Los, Graduate Associates for the Center for Teaching and Learning
Most college students have to admit – they hate homework and studying through group assignments. However, the truth is that they like to learn through social media.  Students are not creatures of isolation, but rather creatures of convenience and getting 6 different schedules to match, conquering 75 pages of text, coming to mutual understanding of the content, and then finally producing an A+ power point presentation is not exactly convenient!
People in general learn best when it is fun and interesting. Our parents had the newspaper thrown at their door step every morning, and so they enjoyed a daily dose of reading and learning over a cup of morning coffee. Similarly, students read Buzzfeed, blogs, and Facebook posts whenever they want (even multiple times a day), because it is virtually thrown at their fingertips.
Professors now have an incredible opportunity to implement course work and classroom information onto a Facebook Course page; professors can access and contribute to the same programs that students love to use, which can potentially make homework and group assignments more useful and convenient for their students. As a professor, you could be asking yourself, “how could this work” or “what would this look like” or maybe even doubting it altogether with an opposing response of “my students wouldn’t get their work done even if I posted it on their Facebook page”. However, many professors have utilized Facebook for their course and the results have been outstanding.
Even now students are coming together to learn topics from class through Facebook and other forms of social media. Picture this: Monday and Wednesday’s lecture was a bit overwhelming and boring. Most of the students tried reading the text, but they said the information still doesn’t make sense. There is a test coming up, and all of the sudden the entire class is in the same boat – extreme panic. Prior to options of social media being made available, students would have lined up at the office door during office hours, but it is no longer this way.
Today students will watch videos and other lectures on YouTube. When a student finds a quality video, they will message it to the whole class through Facebook.  Another student will get lecture notes from a different university professor and can then post it to her classmates on Facebook. A different student will look up scholarly journal articles and post them, where? That’s right – on Facebook. Students are already using Facebook to supplement lectures and text books, because the students learn when it is easy and convenient, and Facebook is just that.
It may be helpful for professors to start a Facebook page for their students. This way all of the students can easily add links and posts that they find interesting and helpful. The professor can also post information, add comments, and direct students to videos, pictures, and professional websites that weren’t covered in class. The most beneficial learning tool a professor could use in the new age of social media is one that is convenient - since Facebook is widely accepted and easy to use, help your students by starting a course Facebook page today.
To begin creating a Facebook page for your class, please view the following link:
As always, the CTL is here to help and answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to email, call 605-677-5411, or drop by McKusick Room 107!
The CTL is dedicated to the development of extraordinary teaching and learning at the University of South Dakota.

Educational Technology and Mobile Computing. (2014). Teacher’s Guide to Creating Facebook Group for Students. [Website]
           Facebook Inc. (2013). Introducing a Facebook Guide for Educators and Community Leaders. [Website]
Tomassini, J. (2013). Teachers Gravitate to Social Networks Tailored for Educators. Education Week [Website] 

No comments:

Post a Comment