“Social media”, this term reeks of power and influence. You can use it for a myriad of purposes or motives. Entertainment, leisure, recreation, conversations, idea generation, business or trade, anything and everything one can think of can be achieved through this domain. But, one might often forget just how instrumental social media can be for education.
It is very easy to assume that social media is at our disposal only to have fun and connect with friends or family. Over 3.6 billion people worldwide, use social media platforms on a regular basis. Imagine the kind of exposure to information that can be attained with such a massive audience. Even corporate giants use social media scheduler for fast business growth. If we consider the fact that social media has a tremendous impact on the way we think and live, we should know that the impact of social media on education can be enormous.
There are numerous ways in which we can use social media for education. The platforms are resourceful for teaching in classrooms as well as in marketing colleges or schools. Social media legitimately makes our lives easier, even in a classroom setting.
13 ways in which you can use social media for education
If you conduct a thorough research, you will find multiple social media tools for education in the market. Students of all age groups can benefit from the use of social media in teaching and learning. Here are ways in which you can use social media for school students:
1. Make a WhatsApp or Facebook group for the entire class
This method is gaining widespread popularity by the day. The best school social network can be created in this manner. The teachers usually take charge of creating a group on WhatsApp or Facebook, wherein they add all the students belonging to a particular class. There are separate groups for parents as well so that they can keep a tab on their child’s educational activities. These platforms are very convenient because they connect the students with their teachers almost instantly. Students can raise doubts by sending voice notes and teachers can send explainer videos.
2. Creating a Facebook page for a class
A great use of Facebook in education is to make a page dedicated specially for the students belonging to a classroom. Instead of putting the teachers and students through the trouble of dealing with the traditional online classrooms, you can arrange something that everyone is familiar with. You can create a Facebook page for a batch and ask all the students to follow it. All the updates, assignments, homework or discussions can be put up on the page.
3. Create your own blog
With the amount of digital services available in the market, you will never run out of options for promoting your material. Blogging is a very popular medium through which individuals share their thoughts and opinions. It is also a great way to educate people on certain topics. Hence, a perfect social media practice for education of your students.
Teachers can create a common class blog on any of the blogging platforms available in the market like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or Medium. Students can give blog post ideas and write on them while getting exposed to content that can be linked back to their curriculum.
4. Use Pinterest for creating a batch specific board
Pinterest is a great social media platform as an educational tool. Anybody who has used Pinterest before, he/she would know how interesting it is to create boards and pin content specific to a category. Digital marketing tools of this kind give you a lot of creative liberty. Again, a great method to use social media for education is to create a class-specific board on Pinterest. Students can simply pin their ideas time and again on the board to spur discussions or brainstorm ideas. Project-specific boards can be made too. This will give them a comprehensive view of the compiled ideas for a specific task or project.
5. Social media as a job-hunting tool
If you have been thinking about how to engage college students on social media, LinkedIn is your platform to go to. It is a potent source for making connections that will take students a long way in their careers. College students can be encouraged to have updated LinkedIn profiles so that they can connect with industry experts as well as recruiters. It will technically act as their digital resume, which employers can spot directly. LinkedIn is also a very good source for career insights in general. So, it is an excellent social media platform for education.
6. Making use of Instagram for visual learning
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for creating social buzz. The platform gives a lot of scope for the visual representation of content. That is why one solid viral content marketing strategy here can take an entire niche by storm. Class-specific Instagram pages can be created, and students can put up stories or series of videos or graphics to explain ideas. These pages can be removed once the course’s tenure ends. It is indeed a very creative social media platform for the education of students.
7. Using video chat tools like Skype
What better way to connect with educators on a global level than Skype? It is a great social media tool for education because it allows students and teachers to have a one-on-one conversation without being physically present in a classroom. Teachers can give students a virtual tour of lessons without coming together in a physical space. This is a great way to connect people internationally.
8. Twitter as a class board for updates
We always have message boards or discussion boards in physical classrooms where notices or charts are placed for students. Twitter can be a substitute for that board. One Twitter handle can be created per class, and teachers can put all updates on that. There is a character limit in tweets that will improve students’ presentation skills about communication. Assignment deadlines can be tweeted along with motivational quotes or references to resources that can be useful to students.
Here is how you can use social media for education marketing:
9. Add social media links to the school website
Grading your students is not the only task you can do. It is likely that all members associated with your school will check the website often for updates or inquiries. It is a good idea to put up links to all the social media handles of the school so that students and parents can access them easily. You can create a social media directory on the home page. If you use social media for education campaigns, this is a great way to promote them.
10. Talk about and display school events along with photos
Any prospective student or parent will likely go through the school’s social media pages to get an idea about campus life. You will attract more students if you highlight all the events that the school organizes along with extracurricular activities. Your social media marketing strategy will decide the volume of fresh batches that could come in.
11. Create Facebook groups for Alumni
A strong alumni network can be very useful for students in their career span. You can create interest-based Facebook groups to form student communities. It is the best school social network one can have because everyone can keep tabs on each other’s professional lives. The groups formed can be public or private, depending upon your discretion. Social media for education is a blessing in disguise because it will help you while you are studying and after you graduate and get on with your careers.
12. Develop a crisis communication strategy
Imagine there is an emergency on campus, and you have to inform more than a thousand people about it at once. How are you going to achieve that? Social media is how you would do it. Social media channels are a very effective way to keep everyone in the loop. So, if something demands immediate attention on campus, you can release it on your social media pages, and everyone will find out about it instantly.
13. Manage all accounts effectively
When representing yourself as an educational institution, you want to translate responsibility and order. For that, you must get your social media marketing or affiliate marketing in order first. Handling multiple accounts at once can sometimes derail your strategy and force mishaps to occur. If you want to avoid that, you can use a social media scheduling tool.
A tool like RecurPost will help you organize all your social media marketing activities under a single umbrella. It will help you create, manage, organize and schedule content for multiple social media platforms.
Advantages and disadvantages of social media in education
Advantages of social media
- It gives students a platform for open collaboration
By using social media for education, students get a chance to collaborate openly. They can freely express and present their views or opinions on these platforms. A collaboration between tutors and peers is often better on social media than in person.
- Higher engagement
Social media is king when it comes to generating engagement. Since students are already familiar with ever-popular platforms like Instagram and Facebook, they would be more comfortable expressing themselves. To have conversations through videos, photos, or comments is something they know in and out. Since they will be more interested in learning this way, they will engage more.
Disadvantages of social media
- Easy to get distracted
When social media is used for education, one should know that students struggle to maintain their attention span. Social media platforms are a sea of content. With that kind of exposure, students might get distracted by content that is not academic. However, this also allows you to train students on self-management. They will eventually learn how to navigate through distractions and increase their productivity.
- Lack of control
With no physical contact, teachers might find it difficult to control students’ activities. We can say that direct supervision becomes almost impossible. Sometimes students might fail to learn well in such scenarios. The way a student can learn in the direct presence of the tutor is different from what he/she will learn on his/her own.
RecurPost assists to schedule posts across multiple channels
Make the best out of your social media posting efforts with the help of RecurPost, a social media scheduler. Using RecurPost, you can build your brand community across major platforms by employing the appropriate social media strategy.
You can schedule Facebook posts to interact with your audience through posting on your profiles, multiple groups, and business pages. RecurPost lets you schedule Instagram posts with images, stories, and reels on your personal and business accounts to entertain your audience.
Using RecurPost, you can schedule tweets by creating variations and posting them at the best time using the tool. It enables you to schedule LinkedIn posts to start a conversation with the professional that belongs to your niche. RecurPost is an ideal Pinterest scheduler, which enables you to share appealing visual content of your products and services.
You can also schedule Google My Business posts with a call to action button to promote your brand locally. You should try the RecurPost features by signing up for a free trial.
Social media holds the capacity to make lives as well as destroy them. It is upon us to use it wisely and judiciously. That is why social media during a pandemic usage for education is the way to go. This domain has become more a part of our routine lives than we even realize. Integrating it into the classroom space was just natural and apparent. Students are highly accustomed to the usage of social media platforms. This makes it easier for them to learn through those. Every platform offers a unique way of representing content, effectively giving you more scope for teaching.
If you take up education via social media platforms, you will probably have to develop a potent social media content strategy. The content will have to be sourced timely, and you will have to find ways to present it in a creative manner. Amongst all the hassle of teaching and managing students, social media management can become a handful of tasks.
Thankfully, we have social media scheduling tools like RecurPost to help out, which is one of the best & trusted free Hootsuite Alternatives and mavsocial alternatives. With a tool of this kind, you can schedule your entire curriculum and even split it into categories for better learning with social media bulk scheduling. It will allow you to manage your posts, schedule them, source them and design them all in one place.
Debbie Moran is a Digital marketing strategist with 5+ years of experience producing advertising for brands and helping leaders showcase their brand to the correct audience. She has been a part of RecurPost since 2019 and handles all the activities required to grow our brand’s online presence.