School Students Can Effectively Use Social Media for Collaborative Learning
Social media can emerge as a good tool for shared learning among students and policy makers need to integrate social media as a scaffold while developing teaching-learning situations, according to new a new research study.
The study titled 'Faculty@Facebook-Students' Perspective for Educational Scaffold by Ajita Deshmukh, PhD Scholar published in the latest issue of Indian Journal of Educational Technology stated that social media has become a platform for increasing collaboration, initiating interaction, enabling resource sharing and critical thinking.A survey was conducted among 75 students of Class XII science stream in Mumbai who were part of a specifically created Facebook group which was a scaffold of the face-to-face or classroom teaching-learning for these students.
About 50% of the students said they accessed social media at least once every hour while doing their home work while 38% admitted using social media occasionally during the class. Whatsapp was the most popular social media followed by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. About 74% said they frequently use social media to share notes, have discussions with peers, clear doubts on academic topics. They also felt quizzes and videos shared on FB groups help clarify concepts, revise, discuss and debate on these topics. Ideas for new reference materials were also obtained from these platforms. Only 14.4% of participants strongly disagreed on using FB to increase student engagement.
Although the small sample size of the study and geographic limitations make it difficult to generalise the conclusions from the study,the survey shows the advantages of using social media platform for students if it is restricted to discussions and sharing of notes and information by students. Educators maight need training to make effective use of social media scaffold in education which could extend learning beyond the classroom.