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What’s Next? A Double Major in Social Media?

Now schools have also noticed the importance of social media in our every day lives.

Now schools have also noticed the importance of social media in our every day lives…

 

Social media…[sigh]…Where do we even begin to explain this phenomenon?   How did social networking become one of the main sources of information today?  How is it even possible that this simple mode of communication can make its way all over the world to be read by billions of people online?  Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if we know the answers to all these questions or not, it will still be the powerful communication platform that it is.

We can’t deny the fact that it is the digital age and social media is here to stay.  According to a May 2013 report by the Huffington Post, the top five social media sites alone have a combined 2 billion users.  Smartphone users check their Facebook status at an average of 14 times a day and 79% of them check their phones for social media updates within 15 minutes from the time they wake up.

This online platform is so strong that it is now also being considered a tool in the field of education.  A number of schools around the world have started to adopt this new technology into their curriculum, their method of teaching and their method of news dissemination.  A number of campaigns have also been pushing for the use of this platform around the world.  As a matter of fact, the same Huff report suggests that 80% of college faculty members use social media and 50% of professors use it in their classes.

Here are a few of the examples of how social media is being used in education:

Ngee Ann Secondary School Tweeting Answers

Singapore has grown to be an economic leader in South East Asia and as it embraces technology, the country’s government is looking into implementing social media in education.

Among the schools that already use this platform is Ngee Ann Secondary School.  In a report by Euro News, during one of the school’s math classes the teacher posts a question and asks the students to send her the answer via twitter in which she projects them on screen.  This form of online communication in schools is what the Singaporean government calls “future school.”

New York City’s Digital Literacy

As the social media continues to permeate the society, the city that never sleeps has also embraced the idea to optimise technology by relating it into education.

The New York City Department of Education has a new position called Director of Digital Literacy and Citizenship held by Lisa Nielsen. She is the very first person to hold the position. Asked what the nature of her work is, Lisa says:

“This year we are focused on helping teachers develop their own digital literacy. Next year, we’ll be focusing more on students interacting with each other online,” she told the Huffington Post. “I’m heavily involved in the use of social media and I’m not aware of other school districts who have a position like this.”

 

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