Many Nigerian schools are yet to adopt the type of thinking required by the Internet era. There still exists the thinking that originated in the old idea of learning to learn. A thinking which is now stale whether we choose to believe, accept and adopt it or not. The list is long – facilities such as the interactive whiteboards, computers or tablets as instructional materials; or the use of social media for high school students such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc which all serve as effective communication tool are mostly absent in the teaching-learning process.
Did you know that about 96 percent of students with internet access report using social networking technologies, and that three in five (59 percent) use these tools to talk about educational topics online? Maybe not as much in Nigeria because our access to the Internet is still growing.
Social media has revolutionised many industries, but perhaps its impact on the classroom, and the education system as a whole is the most striking. Whether it’s through the use of private social groups, Facebook Pages, classroom Twitter profiles, embracing these social networking is showing that, if used correctly, these platforms can have a positive impact on grades.
There are three main social media powerhouses that provide encouraging learning opportunities and they are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These trilogy stand out amongst others because of their applicability.
Facebook: ideas are spread, opinions are voiced, and arguments are had. References from links found on other social media sites, as well as your own documents, can be posted openly for classroom discussions.
Twitter: students in a project who have a Twitter account will follow and/or create group pages on Twitter related to the subject of interest. Ideas are spread, important links are posted, research results and open discussions are diagnosed.
Youtube: You can find very educational information there. I have found many teaching/learning ideas on YouTube channels; I have viewed and shared many videos with my kids on fun ways to learn multiplication tables. There are loads of teaching ideas on any topic that comes to mind…algebra, geometry, reading comprehension, drama etc.
I hope teachers can begin to use these platforms to spread knowledge with their students as it not only promises to be fun and interactive, above all, it incites the use of the social media for fantastic learning opportunities. It is probably easier to get our students to do their assignments on it as they may spend ample time there. Students can now begin to use and view them as mediums for academic and society-oriented courses.
Teachers should give social media assignments in their classes or create a Facebook group for an entire class. Let us bring the classroom together on social media and enjoy the beauty of the changing landscapes it is brings to their world.