Gone are the days when urgent communication was through fax and telegram. With technology going through a drastic change and the internet becoming an inherent part of our lives, to and fro communication has fast-tracked. Social media platforms keep us on track with the happenings in the world and allow us to exchange information, ideas and news within a community.
Social media influences all spheres of life including education and the teaching process at school. The younger generation is exposed to screens from a very early age and a good teacher should be able to combine the traditional and modern methods of imparting education. How teachers use technology decides whether social media is a Boon or Bane in the education process.
Social Media as a Boon?
Here are some ways in which social media can act as a boon for teachers in the education process:
1. Online lectures and Live Discussions
In the post covid world, online classes and zoom classes have become synonymous with actual classes. A thing which was unthinkable a few years ago is now being used to its full potential to help teachers and students in the education process. Apart from zoom classes, the live feature of various social media platforms can be used for discussions between pupils and teachers. Students who are physically not able to attend classes due to distance or illness benefit a lot from these love discussions.
2. Sharing and Gaining Information
With vast educational materials available on the internet today, teachers can upgrade themselves in their free time, absolutely free of cost. While being a hub of information, the internet has several social media platforms which teachers can leverage for their upgradation and educational process. By joining special groups on Facebook they :
- Get access to the latest advancement in the field of education and how to apply those in their teaching process.
- These special groups also help the teacher in knowing new techniques to handle children, to design lesson plans attractively and last but not least help in solving and answering queries put up by other teachers.
Also, social media networks send updates regarding free webinars and seminars for personal upgradation and teachers can always be in touch with the latest educational technology available.
3. Building a community
Joining social media groups on Facebook, and sending out connection requests on Twitter and LinkedIn makes the teachers privy to the educational scenario at the local and international levels.
- By developing contacts overseas, teachers can know what are the different processes followed overseas that could be incorporated into their teaching method.
- At the local level, they can form a community of all the teachers in the vicinity and can thereby provide an exchange of information on changes in curriculum and help the development of content which is interesting and educational at the same time.
4. Increased interaction with students
Teachers can upload their lectures and assignments on a platform approved by the school like the Learning Management System. Here the children can download notes if they have missed anything in the classroom. Also, they can send the assignment for review to the teacher and can get instant feedback. These platforms also provide direct assistance from teachers if the student is facing a problem in any subject.
While social media can act as a boon for teachers to aid their teaching method, some disadvantages are also associated with overuse of it fuelling the debate of social media a Boon or Bane?
Social Media a Bane?
- When teachers rely heavily on social media networks for upgrading their teaching process, slowly they may incorporate activities which are more technology-based rather than on actual interaction. These activities make the children confident about the theory but they start lacking in application in real-life situations.
- Too much use of social media may result in teachers using social media in the classroom as well for the teaching process which can prove to be a big distraction.
- Content on social media groups may sometimes be unregulated and not verified. Teachers should be careful about incorporating techniques and skills they learn from social media and verify them before using them in the classroom
- With the overuse of social media, teachers’ teaching methods might be slowly and gradually influenced by methods on the internet. Although they may be correct, the teacher might lose their original style of teaching.
- When students try to access the notes given by the teacher on the internet, there is a high chance of them getting distracted and using the internet for entertainment and non-educational purposes.
- Over-reliance on social media might also have health effects on teachers. Teaching is a strenuous job and spending too much time on social media can cause health problems like headaches, insomnia, and strained eyes.
To conclude, technology and education are more than intertwined in today’s times and teachers and students wish to be updated at all times. How one uses technology to reap the benefits and stay away from hazards depends on one’s intellect. Social media may act as a boon or Bane depending on the individual’s use and inclination toward having a better future.
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