We are in the “back to college preparation” month. Lecturers should now be in the process of updating their lesson plans (hopefully); finding ways to address the challenges that they are faced with every year:
How can I make learning more interactive?
How can I make learning fun?
How can I encourage team work?
What other practical components can I add to my lessons?
What innovative techniques can I add to my method of teaching?
Is there a medium to respond to mass student queries?
We want all lecturers to know that all those challenges can be solved with two simple words
Learning should be engaging, no matter the level. It just takes great educators who embody adaptability to make this work.
In the growing era of technology with the internet/data plans, mobile devices and social media – access to information has no boundaries, and the methods of imparting knowledge should not be static either.
Therefore, what are the ways to bridge the gap between learning and technology? How can educators, at the college level, engage their students using social media? Here are four ways:
- Discussions, Queries, Revision
Would you tweet for your education? Or are you shy and would prefer the privacy of a closed group? Social media group discussions are great, but knowing the platform to use is paramount. Twitter allows users to create a hashtag that can be tracked, it allows precise questions and a more focused discussion (less rambling) because of the character limitations. However, students can become distracted by other content and also the conversation is harder to follow. On the other hand, Facebook, using a closed group controls the persons able to interact with the content, content is always viewable and lecturers and students alike can make their posts for others to comment on, which is easier to follow. This is useful for every subject in every faculty.
Which do you think should be used – facebook or twitter? Or should it be both?
- Create apps
This is practical for computer science students who should be able to develop something useful. However, other areas can get involved in the process. Entrepreneur students would see a solution to be solved by developing the app, communication and marketing students could be implementing a plan or strategy for a campaign that may require its use. Building and testing , or purchasing of facebook apps are other good methods of integrating social media and learning for students.
- Remote lectures/ tutorials
There is no need for face to face interaction every time. Businesses can be run remotely, education should be no different. Learning does not have to be static or stagnant. Streaming, skype, oovoo, google chat – these are some ways in which classes can be done remotely. It also facilitates guest lectures without the added costs of hosting persons who are outside one’s immediate area, location or time zone.
When will we become paperless? There are many courses which require drafts of documents before the final assignment is handed in. Why can’t students write (well really type) their documents online, share it with their lecturers (via google drive), who can then easily edit the document using comments, strikethrough, underline and different text colours.
There are many other ways to incorporate social media with learning in college, can you name a few?
Students encourage your lecturers to get involved. Lecturers, try to incorporate our four ways and listen to other practical ways from your students.
For our next blog in our #BackToCollege series, we are thinking about #Fashion ……. stay tuned!!