JBCN School Blog
How To Use Social Media Effectively For Students
For the past decade, social media has been touted as a platform for youngsters to congregate online and interact socially as if they were in person, regardless of their distance from each other. There are likely teens out there who do not know of many other uses of the Internet other than their favourite social media platform.
While there have been many negative outcomes from social media such as cyberbullying and other online dangers, social media can be used in ways that promote positive and productive ideas in society. These positive behaviours make social media an invaluable tool to young people if used correctly. Below are some of the ways in which social media can be used to benefit child’s learning:
1. Social media can be used to educate young people. While talking to and advising kids and teens on a one-on-one basis is considered ideal, social media can do the same much more effectively and to a broader audience all at once. People like to use YouTube to express their opinions on various subjects. In the process, they attract millions of views and climb to the top of search engines. This leads to companies taking an interest in sponsorship and furnishing of better gear to make better videos while showcasing their product.
2. Social media can be used as a voice of reason in society. Various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by the youth to create a voice for the voiceless. On Facebook, for example, groups like “Disability is not inability” are being brought up to make society more conscious of how they treat the disabled. Most of these groups are started by young people who see the essence of treating everyone equally and social media as the perfect place to spread that message.
3. Social media has enabled more young people to be creative and innovative. Social media sites mostly depend on active participation and sharing of different content. This makes it so that young people think outside the box and come up with new content when sharing information. Not only is the content they share unique, but new applications and websites spring up every day with new ways to express creativity and individuality.
4. Social media has given teens the ability to hone different skills that are important in the real world. Young people are increasingly able to interact more freely and easily in different social environments online, much like they will later on in life in the workplace. This is a result of the endless exposure they get from being online and talking to different people, some of whom are their potential employers. Young people acquire skills that enable them evaluate and interpret different situations contextually and prepare themselves mentally for situations later on. Sites like YouTube have thousands of educational videos that give anyone the ability to sharpen and develop their various skills and talents, for example, playing the guitar, swimming and even cooking.
5. Social media gives teens skills to become more confident and independent. Engaging on social networking sites can be a new adventure for young people. It is like exploring a new place where different skills are needed. Young people learn to mold their character to be more confident and independent in order to be heard or have a positive online presence. This eventually transfers to their daily lives.
6. Blogging: While reading blogs is a great way to learn new things and stay updated, it’s also a good idea to become a blogger. Whether your child writes about life, poetry, math or fashion, the practice will definitely improve writing skills as well as enhance self-confidence. Through posting of blogs on social media, your child will also learn how to promote himself/herself online – a valuable skill for future entrepreneurs. Children can also try their hand at vlogging (video blogging) and post their videos on YouTube. All children should be encouraged to read and follow the blogs of influential people from around the world to broaden their thinking.
7. Collaborative learning: Your child can use social media to share educational content. By setting up Facebook groups with classmates, children can discuss about studies, share informative videos and content and help each other out when stuck on any problem or concept. They can also critique and comment on each other’s assignments and work together to understand and solve problems. If they are connected with their teachers, children can also use the platform to reach out to their teachers and ask for any help, if needed.
8. Self-Confidence & Public Speaking: If blogging is too big a step for your child to take, encourage your child to express himself or herself through statuses, posts and tweets. Often children are shy to voice their opinions in front of others. But they may not feel that way on social media. Putting up statuses or tweets about what they feel, the problems they are dealing with or their opinions on current affairs can help children interact with other people in the community. This will not only increase their confidence levels but also improve their public speaking skills as they learn how to express themselves freely and confidently.
9. Stress buster: Social media also helps to bust stress when children are bogged down with too much work. When children get back to studies, they are more energized and motivated and can concentrate better on their work. However, it is crucial for parents to discipline their children regarding how much time they get to spend on such sites. No more than 10 minutes per hour is a great time limit and parents can help kids set up 10-minute alarms every hour that can be their ‘break time’ to do whatever they want –like scrolling through Facebook / Instagram, talking to their friends and family, watching a light-hearted video, etc.
In conclusion, social media is a powerful tool in the hands of youngsters that can make or break them. And while it is impossible (and counter-productive) to take this away from them, it is very important to monitor their activities online on a regular basis and teach them how to best make use of social media. If all parents and teachers work towards educating the children on the proper use of social media, the children will surely become better individuals in terms of knowledge-gaining and creativity.
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Posted on: Tuesday,2018,Jan,Tue