Young people are active Interned users. They are obsessed with online activities, spend much time at the computer or with smartphones in hands, mainly in different social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. These platforms are usually regarded as distractions, useless toys not allowing students to focus on learning. That is why many professors oppose technology and prohibit using gadgets in a class, which creates a split between generations.

Social media should be treated as a helpful tool rather than as an enemy and used to enhance the quality of education. Experts from Pro-Papers have analyzed the ways how online platforms can become a great knowledge source and outlined them below.

Maintaining relations

Initially, social networks were designed for maintaining relations. Classmates cease to be just a peer group attending the same school or university. They become friends, exchange experience and impressions, which makes a class more cohesive. It is very convenient for them to alternate personal and academic topics, develop joint projects and then shift attention to hobbies, social events, and entertainment.

A professor can create a class account on Facebook, invite all learners, educators, and parents there. It is a great place for discussing young people’s academic results and suggesting ways to improve them.

Comfortable learning environment

Young people immerse in online space for resting, communicating with like-minded people and experiencing bright emotions. Professors understand that many students do not perform assignments until late night because they chat, view videos and images in their smartphones.

Making course materials a part of this entertaining content is the same thing as putting a bitter pill in a piece of sweet cake. Learners absorb knowledge without treating learning as something boring and tedious, as it often happens with a traditional educational approach.

A student does not have to make volitional efforts to start doing homework. One is constantly connected to a peer network, discusses educational issues, perceives schooling as an indispensable part of one’s life rather than a prison from which children run after a bell rings.

24/7 support from professors

It often happens that learners do not grasp concepts presented in a class and need additional teaching time to eliminate knowledge gaps. Ofcourse, you can buy term paper as a possible option, since educators are very busy, they do not have the opportunity to communicate with everyone during one short lesson. Thanks to social media, students can get help from professors without waiting for official on-campus consultations and detaining lecturers in a class on breaks. It is just necessary to ask a question or describe a problem in writing, post a message in a university community or send it personally to a professor.

Blogging

All students write academic papers. But only professors usually read them. There is no opportunity to listen to everyone’s essay, report, or review in a class. Since educators have little time, homework is often checked rather superficially. It is not surprising that young people lose enthusiasm and simply rewrite texts found on the Internet. But if academic papers would be posted in blogs, read by peers and professors, the motivation to write well would grow.

Thanks to blogs, students can show their talents, collect positive feedback, which should encourage optimistic mood. Professors may ask learners to comment on each other’s texts. This is the great way to develop analytical skills and critical thinking. It is worth setting certain grading criteria, explain that assessments should be unbiased and logically substantiated.

Blogging also allows to create each student’s personal archive which may be reviewed over time. Such portfolio helps to assess person’s progress over years, distinguish trends and compile develop for further development. Materials in a blog may be showed to employers or organizations providing grants and scholarships, pasted to public sites holding essay writing contests.

Videoconferencing

Skype is the most popular videoconferencing program used not only for communicating with friends and relatives but also e-learning and business negotiations. Students can learn from the most prominent scientists and interact with native speakers when studying foreign languages. Remote education expands the boundaries of a physical classroom, allows students to participate in online conferences from any place, no matter whether it is a university or a country house. They can learn at their own pace and review lectures whenever comfortable.

Videoconferencing is efficient for both group classes and one-on-one tutoring sessions. It is especially beneficial for people from remote areas who should relocate and live in a dorm to study at a university and learners with disabilities who find it difficult to attend on-campus lectures.

Educational institutions can invite guest speakers from distant cities and countries without worrying about their transportation and accommodation. It is enough to turn on Skype and hold an online lesson.

Tweets

Twitter may be used for online discussions. Fox example, a professor may ask students to conduct quick research, surf the Internet, find interesting facts on some topic and publish them with a hashtag. It is a great way to make in-class learning and homework more interactive.

Video channels

Universities and professors can start their video channels and publish useful educational videos. For example, an educator may explain how to write academic papers or perform practical tasks at home. If a professor has no time to prepare one’s own videos, it would be useful to collect relevant content and play it in front of a class. Then, learners can comment on what they have seen.

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