As the advancement of technology in education marches along at a rapid pace, many educators are adopting non-traditional teaching methods to engage and motivate students, create community, enhance communication skills, improve participation, and promote creativity and self-directed learning (Safapour, Kermanshachi & Taneja, 2019; Voss & Kumar, 2013). Our students are living in digital spaces, and social media platforms are a part of their everyday lives. Social media is accessible anytime and is flexibly utilized by students for communication, socialization, sharing media, sharing ideas, and obtaining news and information. Dogoriti, Pange, & Anderson (2014) postulated that social networks had become an integral part of a university student’s daily activities, and students are increasingly incorporating social media into their work and school lives. Educators can provide opportunities for students by using social media to examine their digital identities, to consider how their professional identity could be perceived, and how to evaluate the data they are obtaining and sharing.
For educators, embracing social media culture and somehow integrating these networks into their teaching and learning contexts can be challenging. How can they be used with purpose? What are the benefits? Luckily, in recent years many studies have supported using social media as a teaching and learning tool and have provided empirical evidence for the use of these applications. By facilitating educational opportunities using social media, and by becoming part of their network, educators can provide a guiding presence, and support students in carving out a positive professional image, and in assuming appropriate identities in various digital spaces. Tess (2013) studied the benefits of Facebook and Twitter and discovered that students perceived these platforms to be efficient as tools to promote discussion and for providing and receiving feedback. The advantages of incorporating social media into teaching and learning contexts are extensive. Social media can facilitate the development of twenty-first-century skills, such as creativity, collaboration, communication, media and digital literacy, leadership, and flexibility.
I have created a table that correlates with the above infographic (21st century skills, EdSurge, 2019) which provides some practical ideas for course activities using social media
|21st Century Skills|
|Example Activities||• Research topics|
• Create collaborative spaces • Live-Stream lectures
• Group discussions
• Conduct interviews
• Create community
• Student driven initiatives
|• Connect with industry experts|
• Summarize concepts
• Share opinions and knowledge
• Follow Global events and news
• Use hashtags to connect learning
• Create Polls
|• Connect with industry experts|
• Create resumes
• Create professional profiles
• Explore industries
• Research specific topics
•Research trends in business, tech, education, arts, science, and other various topics
|• Photo essays|
• Showcase designs and products
• Series of photos to show progressions
• Digital Story Telling
• Student created resources
Activities designed using social media can support 21st century skills development, increase learner engagement and motivation, provide exciting new ways to authentically assess learning, promote self-directed learning, build community and social skills, and can be a practical way to invigorate course design and delivery. Are you #ReadyToTeachWithTech?
21st Century Skills. From “It’s 2019. So Why Do 21st-Century Skills Still Matter?” by Boss, S. 2019, EdSurge (https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-22-its-2019-so-why-do-21st-century-skills-still-matter). Copyright 2019 by EdSurge.
EdSurge. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-22-its-2019-so-why-do-21st-century-skills-still-matter
Dogoriti, E., Pange, J., & S. Anderson, G. (2014). The use of social networking and learning management systems in English language teaching in higher education. Campus – Wide Information Systems, 31(4), 254-263. doi:10.1108/CWIS-11-2013-0062
Safapour, E., Kermanshachi, S., & Taneja, P. (2019). A review of non-traditional teaching methods: Flipped classroom, gamification, case study, self-learning, and social media. Education Sciences, 9(4), 273-273. doi:10.3390/educsci9040273
Tess, P. (2013). The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual) – a literature review. Computers in Human Behaviour, 29(5), 68. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.12.032