There has been a lot of criticism regarding how social media affects a student’s academics. Some people believe that it has a very harmful and a distracting effect on the students. Well, if it is misused, then this statement is true. But if one chooses to use it judiciously, it can prove to be a boon for students.
Importance of social media in teaching and learning
Social media can provide students with a number of opportunities for learning. This is a new method of learning that is far better than the traditional education. Education is not mere learning of facts from a textbook and completing assignments. It is about the overall personality development of a student.
Today Social media usage has made it so much easier and faster for the teachers and the students to interact in regard to studies. We are living in a world in which online interactions have become important, and students are already experts at having an online presence. They are very much aware of using simple as well as the complicated functions on a number of social media sites.
The combination of education and technology gives an exciting opportunity in the modern digital era. Educators and students can take advantage of social media to improve their programmes and grow in their respective fields.
Social media platforms are versatile, and anyone from teachers, students, and their parents can use them according to their convenience.
Here we have for you some points that will explain the importance of social media in Higher education:
Easy sharing of Information:
Students studying in colleges are connected to the internet constantly through their mobiles, tablets, etc. This way they easily share the information with friends and family. People are also able to share knowledge, tips, projects, and study material which can prove to be beneficial for numerous people.
This helps the students to exchange information regarding the examinations and classes. This feature is a fantastic one as it has made the exchange of information hassle-free. Without them being even aware of the skills that are being developed every day. This also provides students with more room for development.
Marketing on Social Media:
Everyone is aware of this term today- ‘marketing.’ Learning social media marketing is an arising career option for students. It helps the students to prepare and become successful marketers. As every business needs to include social media marketing in their groups, students from all over the world are getting an opportunity for carrying out social media strategies for so many companies from around the world. This is not possible if a person has zero knowledge about social media.
Higher education Opportunities:
Social media helps the students to get admissions in better colleges for higher education. It is known that most students studying in high schools prefer to use social media when they are researching for colleges and getting enrolled. One of the top websites used today for this is Facebook.
Students have developed a trust for a particular social networking platform and expect a detailed information quickly. So those who are in the phase of gaining their higher education or about to enter this stage must take advantage of social media for enhancing their skills as a student.
Higher education facilities must realize the fact that they have to stand out from the crowd. Higher education needs creative social media plans that have to be implemented throughout the year to keep the prospects engaged with the college.
It can be highlighting courses that are different offered online on a regular basis after study recruitments. This can enable colleges and universities to easily make connections with a prospective student by a decent social media presence.
Revolutionize classroom learning:
Social media has the capability to transform learning and make it more effective completely. It provides immense information from the world that professors can use in their lessons. One of the most interesting examples was seen some time ago when an Italian professor made her students tweet each other only in Italian in the classroom and encouraged the native speakers to join them as well. The study found that about ninety percent of the children had more motivation and confidence after the class. This is a very smart step and just a way as to how efficient this method of learning and teaching can be.
Reaching a vast number of people:
When it comes to social media, the main advantage is that the general outreach increases to a great extent. The higher education institutes are able to reach not just the present students but also passed out students, industry peers and of course the potential students. This presents a better-rounded college image in which academics, awards, athletics and campus life can be highlighted. It also becomes easier for an update and local news and is a very easy method of sharing data as well.
Helping with the research:
Higher education goes hand in hand with research. Social media gives a base to the Universities and other Institutes to share information and carry out research for reaching out to much more people than ever before.
Also, social media can provide beneficial tools to the students that can help them get better knowledge and information regarding the research topic they are engaged in.
Being connected with alumni:
To offer the best in class study, most of the time higher education institutes need fundraised money. Social media platforms help in keeping the alumni aware of the fact that specific areas needed to be funded. From helping to share a fundraising event or sharing the success on various social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, the college facilities are able to connect with alumni in a more personal and meaningful way.
The social media helps all the educational institutes to connect with the industry for the growth of partnerships and also recognized experts in the field. These partnerships can also be very beneficial to the students as they also can get a chance to get hands-on training on various subjects and opportunities to get an internship and even a full-time job after their college education.
Social media challenges faced by the higher education institution
When it comes to a digital marketing plan, there are a number of problems that have to be overcome to achieve success on social media channels. Most of the times the higher education institutes include various faculties, thereby providing a unique experience to both professors and the students.
One of the major problems faced by higher education when it comes to developing a social media existence is giving each faculty the ability to manage their own social media efforts and at the same time maintaining the same kind of regulation for the content that has to be shared.
Here are some suggestions that may help to some extent in overcoming this problem:
Create a common social media policy that has to be followed by all faculties alike.
For all of the social media accounts, a community manager has to be designated.
A cross-platform social media scheduling, reporting, and monitoring tool must be utilized.
Most probably the university or the college must have already appointed a designated marketing team to increase the awareness of your higher education institute and getting funding and recruits as well. Although, with technology and education overlapping it becomes all the more important that a particular college or university is well equipped in the digital marketing practices and has a good social media management.
Create A Good Social Media Approach For Higher Education:
It is not a small task to create a social media presence that puts forward not only professionalism but also engages actively with a number of audiences. Being a higher education facility, the social media content and the feed must be able to communicate well with the present students, parents, prospects, researchers, alumni, and fellow institutes. There is just so much information to be showcased, share and managed, how does an institute make a social media plan that tick marks all the necessary boxes that will lead to success?
Here we have given a number of ways that higher education facilities can include so that technology and education together make a good combination as far as student life is concerned.
Get your focus on timely response and engagement:
Getting proper attention and engagement is one of the key features to have a successful social media plan. When prospect students comment on a certain post or maybe send a direct message for a certain inquiry, it is very important that the appointed social media manager responds to them in a timely manner.
It is also crucial at times when the comment posted is negative or offensive in any manner. There must be a person in charge of an institute’s social media feeds for a particular time of the day to be answerable to any critical event and for giving a response to dangerous comments.
Social media channels must be handled by the faculties themselves:
It is a common scenario in all the higher education institutes the faculties are given the responsibility to maintain the same objectives and colleges as the college or university that they belong to, but they still function separately by teaching a specific subject. The faculties give a unique educational experience, so giving them a unique social media experience seems a right thing to do.
When a faculty is given the power over the social media feeds, they will be able to communicate and connect better with the target prospect students and staff by increasing the personal quintessence of their online engagements.
Make the content interesting and keep it light:
An effective social media strategy must be able to communicate their outlook objectives and values of the educational institute. Keep the viewer's attention intact by providing interesting and timely content. You can share the events that have been organized recently or staff celebration on their educational success, a student alumni meet and posting polls. These are just a few examples. A lot more can be done on various social media platforms. Just make it interesting and easy to understand, and you are good to go.
Social media and education technology must work together:
Prominent visibility and accessibility require a lot more work than expected. When education technology resources, programs, and administrative operations are linked, it will help you to get the attention needed and will help the students in finding more helpful information in their career. So it is beneficial both ways.
The social media channel acts as a link between the user and the higher education college. When it is made sure that any information that is required by the student can be easily accessed by the social media profile, the students are going to have a more positive experience, which will encourage them to be connected to the university constantly.
Social media scope should be widened:
It is also possible that your institute must already have a social media plan that has been implemented on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But you can still increase the target audience reach by using other social media platforms and bringing variation to your content type. This can be done by taking a live class on Facebook or webinar where you can easily discuss your educational institute with prospect students directly, or you can make your own YouTube channel comprising a number of videos made by the different faculty members in your higher education institute.
In conclusion, as the social media continues to advance and get involved in our daily life, it is the academic world that has to take advantage by finding out a way how the technological tools can work in collaboration with the traditional teaching methods.
Bottom line, it is high time we understand how important and useful social media can be in Higher education. It is not merely a trend but a necessity in the digital world that we live in today.
All over the world, colleges and universities are taking help of the social media strategies to get in touch with the students, parents and various other education institutes for their own benefits.