Social media has taken the world by storm where every part of our lives clings on this internet-based social platform. According to Wikipedia, Social media are various computer-mediated tools that allow individuals and groups of people to create, share and exchange information of mutual interest using virtual networks and communication tools. This article highlights the positive impacts of social media on modern education today.
There has never been a simplified way of sharing academic knowledge than social media. Sites such as SlideShare, Scribd, Google documents, Docstoc and many others enable users to create academic documents in the form of powerpoint slides, Word, PDF, etc which they can upload for others to view or download. Furthermore, many leading academicians have uploaded thousands of YouTube video clips where they provide lectures that can be watched by their students. The ability to share academic work has helped many scholars to save time and efforts in searching thousands of books in libraries to find the information they want.
Discussion boards and forums
Forget about having to be physically present at the class discussion meeting yet you can easily organise a discussion forum on social media. It’s possible that everyone in your class has access to the internet through a computer, smartphone or a tablet and that a discussion board can be set up in many ways. For example, a group leader can initiate a WhatsApp group where every member of the class is admitted and a discussion topic also initiated. Not only that but there are also Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc, that have largely been used by students worldwide to create virtual discussion forums which actually saves time and efforts.
Scholars in the last century never thought that there would be anything like virtual lecture rooms. But now with the modern technology and the improved internet access, scholars of the 21st century can now attend virtual classrooms through video conferencing where a lecturer and students in different geographical locations and communicate in real time. A lecturer just gives tasks to be done by the students and in turn, students can ask the lecturer some questions. There are many online sites that can host virtual meeting rooms for academic purposes and the most common among them is Skype.
Improved academic research
Many sites like Wikipedia, Answers.com, Google Books, etc, contain countless scholarly articles that have been widely cited/quoted by other scholars in different academic works such as research reports and essays. Those sites are simplified virtual libraries that can be accessed for free by anyone seeking information on any topic. Additionally, both sites have helped finding the needed information easier where the user just types any topic in the search box and the exact results will show up.
While the internet is becoming much more accessible today in many parts of the globe, more and more scholars are taking the advantage of social media to make learning easy. Besides all that, Google, a giant web search engine, has made it possible to browse millions of websites for educational images, videos, documents and thus enabling finding of information and sharing it much easier than before!