How students use social media
Social media is a social instrument of communication. Its definition continues to evolve with the change and expansion of platforms and technologies. It involves participation, openness, conversation, community and connecting. There are very many uses of social media, being a Centre for learning, students benefit a lot from it. In learning, social media can be used for blogging, collaborative calendaring, podcasting, RSS readers, collaborative mind mapping, micro sharing or blogging, presentation sharing, photo and video sharing, social bookmarking and many more. (Newson, Alex, Deryck Houghton, and Justin Patten, pg35)
Current trends in social media amongst the student population
Using of social media varies from place to place and from one demographic to the other. As I had mentioned earlier, social media’s definition has been and is still evolving. This is because of everyday inventions in technology industry. The technology is being used in public and academic institutions. Students have incorporated mobile learning in their studies. Institutions have integrated social media technology in their learning. Social media is being used by students to share views, engagement and in learning. Currently students in their social life are using social media interfaces like; Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and many others for connectivity in their everyday lives. A recent study noted that students’ use of blogs is more engaging than using emails. Students are utilizing podcasts, video blogs and webcasts to share their work, faculties, visiting scholars and alumni across the globe. Twitter and Facebook are the most prominent interfaces in social media. This enables the students to express their interests and discover the commonalities between them. Tweeting is being used in courses as a medium of discussion by students. Statistics research in 2012 shows that over 90% college students globally use Facebook and twitter.
Some of the socially accepted social media include; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and YouTube. Facebook and twitter are for networking. Students use them for interactions. With LinkedIn, students can connect with royals and professionals all over the world where they get to share and find inspirational stories. These stories help to motivate students towards their career objectives. The Google and the YouTube help students to find resources for their assignments and questions which have close connections to their academics or better working solutions.
The social media has brought with it many changes in how students receive information and news. Many students spend most of their time online, searching, surfing and even adding to the great database of the internet. The researches that required quite a long duration to search for information are now done in minutes through the Google searches. The net has become a universal medium to get information and news. A case study was conducted by our secondary school which is based in china. The aim of the study was to show how social media has eased the difficulties in news and information research. Students were divided into two groups. One group had mobile devices while the other group used questionnaires and other materials for collecting data. With the android mobile phones, digital cameras, computers and several other devices, the students collected all the information for a shorter time compared to those who used the old system of data collection and news and information search. We concluded that the social devices have brought many positive changes in learning.
There are factors which may influence a student’s decision to select a particular way of consuming media, which range from, the relevance to timing to alignment and finally to confidence. There are other economical and technological factors that might influence the user also. One example is the cost of the device. If the cost of using the device aligns with what they have, then that gives them an ok.
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