Today, social media is no longer just an entertainment channel and a communication medium for people to stay connected with their loved ones. It has changed how its users experience and interact with the web by giving them an option to personalize and keep everything they do on the platform.
Popular social media tools, such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and many others earlier, were a medium for students to get refreshed when they took a break from their studies. But, now, the scenario has completely turned upside down. Students are looking up to social media to stay updated on current affairs, learn soft skills or a new course, ask for help or provide it universally, exchange notes, and most importantly, conduct live classes.
Modern-day tech-savvy students do not see social media as a social media marketing world anymore. They have understood how they can use it to their advantage and help them learn thighs in a new way.
A research discovered that the student community widely uses the following social media platforms- WhatsApp with 83.3%, Facebook comes second with 78%, third is Twitter with 12.8%, the professional social media platform LinkedIn shares 7.9%, the vibrant Instagram has 7.5%, IMO accounts for 2.6%, Snapchat with 1.8%, Myspace, and Skype sharing 1.3% and 0.9% respectively. Now, it’s time to learn about the reason’s students use social media and how it is essential for them, after which we shall move ahead and check how such platforms are helpful for the students.
Reasons Why Students Use Social Media
The research identified that more than 95% of students use electronic devices, maybe a desktop or a laptop or a smartphone that connects to the internet. Hence, proving that more than 3/4 of students can access social media applications, making it an effective forum for sharing, reviewing, and receiving almost every type of information.
The top 5 reasons for which the students used social media platforms along with percentage are as follows:
- To stay updated on world news and other information – 79.7%
- To keep in touch with friends – 74%
- As a help in work matters – 55.1%
- To stay connected with family – 47.1%
- For Random Chatting – 43.6%
Thus, proving that the students use social media for productive work and get information from it.
How Social Media Is Important For The Students
Social media has taken the form of a bulletin board where students can send and receive educational information and world news in just a few minutes. Social media has changed its image from being a ‘distractive channel’ to an ‘educative medium as it has helped students prosper and develop overall, as supported by a finding stated below:
- 33.8% of teachers have agreed that they use social media for teaching purposes.
- 41% of the educators below the age of 35 and 30% above 55 have reported using social media channels in their teaching.
- Social media is higher in disciplines – the Professions and Applied Sciences, Humanities and Arts, and the Social Sciences compared to Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences.
- Irrespective of the subjects, 88% of the faculty accepted using online videos while teaching in the classroom.
- Teachers prefer Blogs and Wikis over other social media channels for teaching.
How Social Media Is Helping Students
- Offering Educational Benefits to the Students: As Simonson et al. (2000) stated, online learning platforms are better than traditional classroom learning because students can access the materials and learn videos any time they want. Through social media, students can watch relevant educational videos and other digital content instantly.
- A Quick and Easy Platform to Share Information in Real-Time: Students can search for many other educational or learning content of their choice on social media platforms and share it with their classmates and friend’s straightaway. Materials, like additional question papers, practice papers, solved answers, study materials, and more, can be shared in no time.
- A Platform to Conduct Virtual Classes: The ‘Importance Section’ above mentioned how widely teaching faculty uses social media channels to conduct the online class and continue teaching without any hindrance. Apart from school/college studies, students can also enroll in other soft skill virtual classes and develop themselves to shape out best in the future. Teachers can even send reminders using social media about essential dates and classes.
- Staying Aware and Updated: Social media also serves as an excellent medium for the students to stay updated and aware of the world news. An infographic and a synopsis on worldly information give an idea to students about what is continuously happening around them. Such infographics attract students as they show the news in pictorial representation that makes a lasting impression on the students’ minds.
- Build A Community: Social media is a stage where students can interact with students from different parts of the world on a real-time basis. They share their knowledge, exchange cultural values, and much more valuable expertise. They tend to create a students’ community or a study group where they converse study together. They can even invite guest lecturers in their group to guide them from time to time.
- A Medium to Carry Forward the Conversation without any Restrictions: If any student has missed any lecture, he/she can get recordings later via any social media apps. Even if students want to discuss the topic taught post the session, they can easily use any of the social media platforms, like Google Hangouts, where they can chat and have a healthy discussion.
- Helps to Organize and Arrange Learning Resources: Students and teachers can curate, share, and save digital content using collection-building apps like Tumblr, Pinterest, and more. They can use Google Docs when working on one project and can share it with multiple users. Apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box help gather study materials and organize them categorically.
The purpose of social media was never to make students go in the wrong direction. Its only aim has been to bring them together and make a pool to exchange productive and educational things. The social media marketing worlddoes not limitto brand promotion and advertisement anymore. It is way more than this for students, to which I am sure you would agree too.