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Educational benefits of social networking sites

April 17th, 2013

Today, technology provides a lot of opportunities for education that can be accessed by everyone around the globe. The educational field has completely transformed ever since the Internet and technology are included in the equation.

Due to the growth in social networking websites, educators are looking for their potential for use in education, having the conscious that social networking sites may have the ability to endorse both collaboration and active learning.

Thus, the affirmative effects of social networking in education are perceptive. Social networking sites not only assist students but also offer great opportunities for communication between administrators and teachers.

Using social networking sites, teachers can able to improve the involvement of their students in studies and education, improve technological ability, provide a great sense of collaboration in the classroom and make good communication skills.

The University of Minnesota had a research on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and found that the social networking sites have a great impact for educational growth for students in high school.

Christine Greenhow, the principal investigator in the study, has elaborated the impact of social networking sites on education. She has done her research on students, aged from 16 to 18, studying in an urban school, located at the Midwest.

The study showed that, 94 percent of the observed students used the Internet, 77 percent had their account on social networking sites and 82 percent of the students went online at home.

The surveyed students said that they have learned many important skills such as technological skills, communication skills, creativity and being open for diverse opinions and views, which are all important for the 21st century. Moreover, teachers can also be able to make the school more linked, appropriate and meaning to the students.

Also, the study showed that, the students are using latest technology systems, updating web content and also having an idea about web design and layout. They share their creative work like films, poetries, etc., and also carry out the responsible use of Information as well as Technology. Few among these students are also aware of professional networking opportunities that social networking websites usually provide.

As a result of this study, Greenhow told that social networking sites provide more than just social exploitation. It offers wide opportunities to give support what the educators learn from the websites.

Therefore, social networking websites are considered as an ideal source that helps us to widen our knowledge. Recent survey says that millions of people accessing social networking sites for their educational requirements. Thus, the field of education has undergone a drastic shift and hence gained a new dimension for the past decade.

The following are the popular social networking websites that have effective educational benefits:

EDMODO:  Edmodo is the largest social networking website used mainly for education purposes. As per the survey, more than 13 million people are using this website effectively. Edmodo provides greater security for all its users. If an institution is using this website, then the institute will get a security code from this website. Hence, the institute can share the code to the people whomever it wants to access the website. This is how the website provides greater security to its users. Edmodo encourages other activities such as posting assignments, conducting surveys and sharing images and videos.

ENGLISH BABY: Teaching conversational English is the main objective of the English Baby website. The analysis showed that nearly 1.5 million people across the globe are using this website. This website is very famous among the Chinese people still the website is also used by Americans, Japanese, Indians, Egyptians, etc. However, only the premium users get right to access this website.

LIVEMOCHA:  Livemocha is a social networking website used to teach various languages to the website users. As per the analysis, nearly 1.2 million people around the world are using this website. The website consists of a collection of course material available in more than 38 different languages. The users of this website can perform activities such as posting content and reviewing content.

ACADMIA.EDU: Acadmia.edu is a science-related website built especially for scientists and the respective college students. As per the study, more than 1.9 million people are using the website all over the world. It is a platform mainly for academic researchers and aficionados to share research materials and research papers to other website users. Using this website, the users can able to share their research papers with other users in the same field, have contact with experts in the field and get their help in a research. The website also shows the number of people accessed the papers and their reviews to the users who post their research papers.

EPERNICUS: Epernicus is another social networking website, focuses on social networking aspect, built mainly for scientists and researchers. Unlike Acadmia.edu, it doesn’t allow users to share their research papers and materials. It allows users to post questions and get suitable answers from recognized experts. The users of the website can participate on any topic related to science and research and hence the website is quite informative for its users.

COURSE CRACKER: Course Cracker is a network that enables students, teachers and parents to connect with each other resulting in the refinement of the learning process. The main objective of this site is to improve the educational experience of users by using latest web applications and web tools. This website allows the users to post their course material, quizzes, assignments and other sources related to education and also give them permission to access the posted content.

STUDENTS CIRCLE NETWORK: Social circle network is one among the latest editions of the club of social networking sites, consists of different course materials in the field of science, business, engineering, computing and humanities. The website consists of nearly 10,400 intellectual courses, targeting mainly students and teachers.

9TH PERIOD: The main focus of this website is on web applications and online tools. Thus, it facilitates education to its users, such as students, teachers and universities, through the Internet.  This website allows users who have similar interest to interact with each other without any discrepancies.

THE SYNAPSE: This website mainly concentrates on biology students, tutors and researchers all over the globe. This website acts as a great source of the latest happenings and development in biology, generally built on the Ning platform.

THE MOLECULAR FORCES: It is another website built on the Ning platform, focuses on physics and chemistry students, teachers and researchers. Teachers can able to distribute their study materials and learning approaches in this website. The website also acts as a great platform for sharing and asking questions about new ideas.

The following are the most popular social networking websites that promote education:

WIKIPEDIA: A popular social networking website that consists of a great repository of informative articles, generally used by millions of users every one hour. When you see in the discussion board, you can find many people sharing their views and opinions in a forum based settings. Also, they ask questions, review, modify, mention references, give feedbacks and share their knowledge gained from the article.

FACEBOOK: Facebook is a famous social networking site that has nearly a billion users all over the world. This website is considered to be the best website for promoting education. In this modern generation, you can find almost every student has an account in Facebook. The Facebook groups are formed for schools and classes and thus the website allows both the teachers and students to share their information, post queries and answers, set reminders about upcoming events, etc. The eminent Facebook groups that are available are Wikieducators , E-Learning in developing and developed countries, Teaching Critical Thinking and Active Learning.

LINKEDIN: LinkedIn is one of the largest websites created mainly for business relationships and networking. This website is used by nearly a million of companies and professionals across the globe. Not only LinkedIn educates its users, but also provides advantageous benefits to employers and job seekers. Like Facebook, LinkedIn also has so many groups for educators.

These are the top 20 social networking websites that advances educations:

  1. Twitter
  2. Classroom 2.0
  3. Facebook
  4. Google Plus
  5. Plurk
  6. Educator’s PLN
  7. Sophia
  8. Learn Central
  9. ISTE Community
  10. WhoTeachers
  11. Edutopia
  12. Technology Integration in Education
  13. The 21st Century Teacher
  14. Better Lesson
  15. Diipo
  16. Intel Education Teachers Engage Community
  17. Everloop
  18. Edudemic
  19. K12 Advantage
  20. Collaborative Translation

How social networking sites assist individual educators?

  • Promotes creativity
  • Enhances communication skills
  • Develops collaboration and teamwork
  • Provides access to information
  • Increases awareness
  • Develops social connection

By using social networking sites, students get the following benefits:

  • Improvement of communication skills
  • Improvement of technology skills
  • Increase in the exposure of diverse views
  • Develop a positive image
  • Increase the engagement of learning

By using social networking sites, teachers get the following benefits:

  • Increase the access to resources
  • Collaborate with other staffs
  • Exchange information and lesson plans
  • Reach parents who are not able to come to school
  • Form a partnership with schools in different states and countries
  • Get feedback about school and events
  • Communicate with parents effectively

As it is easy to access and use Social networking websites from anywhere in the world and at any time, they have gained more popularity among people. Moreover, social media sites provide a vast amount of information useful for educators and thus make students learn dexterously discriminate between what information is useful for them and what is not.

Despite promoting education among students, social networking sites also help them for successful employment. Students who enter into the workforce can able to use social networking sites to network and thus find employment too.

Thus, social networking sites not only play a vital role in connecting people but also play an escalating role in education.

Author-bio: K2B Solutions, the top-notch web design company in India, have expertise in PHP, Android, iOS, eCommerce, WordPress and more technologies. We have a very good expert team of qualified professionals who provide customized and quality web and mobile app services to our global clients.

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