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Social Media in Education


In the 21st century, the use of technology has increased in the society with almost each member of the community owning a social media account. Technology has helped by making the world global in the access of the information. For instance, is an incidence happens in Africa someone in Sydney knows after a maximum of ten minutes? Therefore the transfer of information is easy and also the access (Altermeyer 2014). A case study of the youth in the society they all have a social media account. An example of the accounts includes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube among others. It is an addiction in the youth and teacher must be aware of the situation so as to know the methods that can be used to mitigate the effect. The technology, of course, has changed the education today, and millions of the Australian citizens are engrossed in it. The presence of the social media has enabled students to possess computer skills, and they also apply them to homework.

Research that was conducted in between 2009 and 20132 in Australia showed that students who used the internet to complete their assignment scored higher marks that the one never used (Dell et al. 2016). It is a motivation to the students to start using the internet so as to handle the tasks assigned. Australia is one of the leading countries that deal with international students, and in 2012 they showed greater skills in establishing on the web that is appropriate in the handling of the questions Norman & Verganti 2014). The rise in the use of technology is something that needs to be incorporated in the institution and more computers made available to the learner. Therefore it can be argued that use of technology has affected students, teachers and schools. It has benefits and some impact on all the mentioned stakeholders. The article is going to analyse the benefits, disadvantages and impact of the technology on students, teacher and schools.


Research that was done by Ofcom in 2017 showed that 66% percent of adults who are aged sixteen years and above have at least one social media account. Hence taking that aspect into consideration, it is has influenced among many students in the schools (Perrin 2015). An excellent case study is the University students where the use of social media is rampant. To students, it can either have a positive or negative influence in their education.

Benefits of students using social media

Students are one of the stakeholders in the provision of the education, and there are the main ones. To students social media has the following benefits (Gikas & Grant 2013): Provides students with the skills of using the internet and therefore they can conduct research. Another is that technology is designed in a way that a learner can be able to develop coordination of activities and hence be motivated to engage in deep learning. The Internet makes learning exciting to the student, and as they engage in the activity of intensive studying, they understand a lot of things that are helpful in the learning process. It also helps in managing of the project without consulting since one can generate ideas and come up with a refined solution. It is easy for the students to come up with something of their own since they can be able to innovate and design something with the little help of the technology (Friedman 2013). Therefore, the students develop a sense of pride and enjoyment in the process of the learning since services are offered in an environment that is favourable.

It is economical since the students acquire the knowledge they are comfortable with instead a particular place. It is a way of encouraging more classroom participation from students. Some students are shy to express themselves in the classroom and hence in then social media they comfortably express the concern. The two are not directly related, and the learner is in no way guaranteed to participate in classroom activities. It is helpful in ensuring that it builds the confidence of voicing out the views which can be turned into the class. After the learner has developed, it is easy for them to participate in the class room and express themselves comfortable. It is helpful for completion of the assignments given to the student. If one has a question that they do not understand they can post it online asking for help from anyone who is comfortable with the topic. Also, the question can be written on the wall for the teacher to handle and hence the response will be there for all students to see. Easy sharing of the resources online that if hen teacher wants to direct the students to a certain online site that is helpful in handling a task the information quickly through media to all the learners (Fang et al. 2014).

Disadvantages of social media to students

Social media distraction to class during the lesson since the student will be thinking about a post he or she read instead of what is going on in the classroom. The teacher may have hard tine identifying who is paying attention in the classroom or just fantasying. Assignment given students can almost score everything, and hence the teacher thinks that maybe the learner is conversant in the area, but he or she just copied someone else work. Access to social media can be used for other activities other than ones than school related. The students may make it a site to interact and lose the plot of the meaning of the school want it to be used.

Another is that the school encourages discussions to be held on the social media this could affect the face to face interaction. In the real world, the students will be required to have skills that have to have a good conversation with people they will meet in the job market. Therefore the schools need to prepare the learner for what they will expect it the real world. The content that is posted cannot be controlled, and therefore in some cases, the student may post an answer that is wrong. Also, they have access to inappropriate content such as foul language and pornography which damages the minds of the learners.

Teachers are the other major stakeholders in the provision of education. Social media use is coming in handy in the teaching profession. Given the broad use of social media in the 21st century where social media has become a major part of our day to day lives, the use of social media is being used extensively by teachers in schools ranging from kindergarten to colleges and universities. The use of social media by teachers also has its merits and demerits in the provision of education.

Benefits of teachers using social media

Social media is a source of information for educators. Through social media, teachers get to connect with other educators and people from different nations. It comes in handy when planning for in cases like planning virtual field trips. Social media acts as a source of information in understanding the peoples’ culture of the given nation. (Tess 2013) Teachers get to develop their profession through social media. Through social media, they get to know of seminars, workshops, and conferences in their area of specialisation which aid them to connect with other people from those entities hence keeping them in the loop. Social media also enables the sharing of ideas among teachers whereby they get to compare notes and teaching techniques which result in enhanced learning experiences in the classroom. Social media also use aids them to partnerships with other schools. The connections keep teachers up to the date of the changes that in the curriculum and information on other states and some cases countries hence ensuring that what they are teaching the students makes them competent.

Disadvantages of teachers using social media

Social media can at times be misleading to teachers who might result to harm on students and even o the teachers themselves. For instance, contrary some online negative reviews lead to the loss of teacher’s wages and tenure. The irresponsible use of social media without considering private settings can cause harm to people who may have visibility to the press. When teachers post unprofessional or even offensive posts on social media, it can result in negative relationships between teachers and their students which will, in turn, affect the learning process (Dabbagh & Kitsantas 2012).

Impacts of teachers using social media

Social media has had both positive and adverse effects on the teachers. Positive results include; it has media has made teaching easier. Social media has enabled sharing of ideas, teaching techniques and also the comparison of notes enabling the teachers to teach more efficiently (Al-Rahmi & Othman 2013). It has also enhanced better partnerships among schools. By allowing communication, social media has encouraged the sharing of ideas among teachers in different schools which has resulted in better relationships among the schools. It has also made communications between educators and students more efficient enhancing better relationships between the two. When there is a good relationship between teachers and students, learning is encouraged. On the other hand, social media has had adverse effects on teachers who are using it. Irresponsible use of the social media by teachers has led to ruined relationships with students and parents who can view these social media sites. This leads to strained relationships which end up affecting the student’s education.

Benefits of social media to schools

Social media is being used in schools as a tool for education. It is a platform where insights are shared among teachers, student, and administrators. It builds online communications in schools enabling people in schools to keep in touch. Current events on-going in schools are getting to be accessed due to the online communications. Social media is also being used as a bulletin board for announcements since most of the school’s population normally has access to social media. It, therefore, acts as a venue for announcements. (Parr et al. 2011) Social media is also being used by schools as a source of information when planning field trips. The use of internet avails up-to-date information on the sites or venues schools wishes to take the students.

Social media is an effective way to increase student engagement and build better communication skills. Students who rarely raise a hand in class may feel more comfortable expressing themselves on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Social media platforms enable teachers to establish “back channels” that foster discussion and surface ideas that students are too shy or intimidated to voice out loud

Facebook and Twitter can enhance communication among students and teachers. Educators can answer students’ questions via a Facebook page or Twitter feed, post homework assignments and lesson plans, send messages and updates, schedule or announce upcoming events, and share interesting Web sites and multimedia content. Students can use Twitter to get help from instructors or other students. A great way for instructors to give participation points in addition to in class participation is by having students tweet about something that was discussed in class.

Disadvantages of using social media in schools

Despite the best efforts to make social media platform to improve the provision of education to students in Australia, there are some blocks that still makes not useful. The following are the demerits of social media to schools which is one of the primary stakeholders in the education provision: one is the poor performance that is recorded by the students in the schools that use social media and hence tarnishes the image of the school. Another is that students usually do not do their work and hence produces poor graduated who do not have enough content on some of the topic that they handled. The school provides graduate who have weak confidence in their academic ability and other related problems since they do not usually hand a task on their own (Fang et al. 2014). Another is that the school’s negligence in the monitoring of the activities taking place in the groups leads to making them have misled behaviour.

A common complaint among educators is that social media is distracting in the classroom. These instructors maintain that tools like Facebook and Twitter divert students’ attention away from what’s happening in class and are ultimately disruptive to the learning process. With the possibility that the use of social media tools can be an invitation for students to goof off, instructors should make sure they won’t be abused.

Some educators are concerned that while real-time digital stream may create a safe harbor for students who are uncomfortable expressing themselves, students are missing valuable lessons in real-life social skills. Students may find themselves at a disadvantage during college admission or job interviews when they need to command attention and deliver a coherent message. At social gatherings and in personal relationships, they need to be able to effectively express themselves and connect with others.

Ultimately, while the debate continues over what role social media should play in the classroom, no one can argue the influence that social networking has on today’s students. This tech-savvy generation conducts much of their life through social media channels. Not surprisingly, they’re already using YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as tools for learning and collaboration. They expect that their campuses will follow suit. With this in mind, it seems prudent for today’s institutions to get on the social media train and find ways to successfully integrate these tools into the classroom.

Impacts of social media on education

The impacts are going to focus on the education as general, and that include teacher, students and the schools.

Negative effects

1. Quite a number of the students overlying on the information that is available in the social media and thus reduces the holding capacity.

2. Students who try to multi-task that is studying and at the same time checking on the social media have shown poor results due to the distraction of the either Youtube, Facebook among others (Alwagait et al. 2015).

3. Students’ leisure time is spent on the sites, and hence that ends up having a poor socialising life. An individual is always engrossed on the phone or monitor and ends up having a poor face to face communication.

Positive effects

1. Students can learn skills that can be useful in the business and hence benefit in future.

2. Spending of the too much time on the computers’ students can adapt quickly to the new technology. Therefore it is a way of ensuring that there is a smooth transition to the 21st-century technology.

3. Increasing the rate of the collaboration between student, teacher and schools in ensuring that quality services are given (Popescu 2014). It is possible since there is a quick sharing of information between the stakeholders.


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