Social Media in Education

The basic functionality of LinkedIn allows users to describe their work experience, education, and training. Therefore, they can present their profiles online. This description is why it is considered a platform to create an online CV (LinkedIn n.d). It has many features that are not possible in traditional paper CVs, such as being able to upload a photo. Users can list the skills they possess on their profiles and these skills can then be endorsed by their contacts. Users can make “connections” with each other wich is why it is referred to as a social network.  It allows for individuals to have a professional relationship online. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. It can be suggested that if an individual has an aim of connecting with other professionals, share expertise, progress in their career or to learn from other people, LinkedIn is a power resource for this. Therefore, it is a powerful online business tool.

The advantages are that it provides an opportunity to meet people globally which may not be possible otherwise. It allows learning from the industry an individual is working in and also from other industries. The user can grow their network and develop a professional reputation. It also uncovers business opportunities by providing a means to communicate with established entrepeneurs. However, there are some disadvantages. It takes time to learn and get used to the online layout. The site changes regularly and users have to be aware of the changes as they have to manage their reputation and conversations. For optimal benefit when looking for a new opportunity, it is important that the individual and their information are available to the public and that it is not a private account. Despite the obvious benefits of increasing connections, this opens the door to potential fraudulent activity. However, most users would agree that the rewards significantly outweigh the risks or disadvantages.

Twitter is a powerful online social marketing tool and a leading community. It has the potential of a mass audience (Twitter n.d). Every day, billions of people use Twitter. But it has its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the merits is that it is easy and free to join. It is easy to use for a person who regularly uses social media and it provides high-level security on users accounts. Additionally, the platform is versatile and can be used on smartphones, tablets and web browsers. Therefore, it is widely accessible. Another advantage is that a user can follow anyone which increases the potential to connect and stay in touch with many users. It provides instant notifications of direct messages and posts a user might be interested in.

However, it also has its negatives. One of them is that it has problems with spammers. Because a user can connect with anybody, there is the potential for spammers to connect with and target users. Another limitation is that Twitter has a limit of only 140 characters per tweet. Thereupon it is limited in message size. Similarly, it is not very effective for visual content to be shared, such as videos and photos. In mots cases, a link is posted which takes users to another online website with the content attached. Therefore, some would argue that Twitter it is not as effective a social media resource as some other photo and video sharing sites. It is also considered to be addictive and can cause problems with productivity at work and school. If somebody has thousands of followers, it can become a full-time job to maintain this online audience, which is why many companies now employ people specifically to manage their social media accounts.

My experience suggests that LinkedIn can be useful for educational purposes. Connections can be created with experts of various fields. For example, if a person needs help or advice regarding a particular issue, the platform makes it possible to communicate with an expert in that field and solve the probem at hand. Additionally, blogs and discussion forums can be created, enabling practitioners to share ideas between themselves and their students. It can be argued that there are concerns regarding connecting with strangers who the user may have never met. However, SAAS theory suggests that this issue is not a major issue as the majority of users have an online professional reputation and credibility.

Similarly, Twitter can also be used to communicate with global experts. Facilitators from other countries can share their ideas and practices. Teachers and students can use Twitter and discuss issues that are taught in the classroom. One factor that could cause difficulty for users is the requirement to understand and use specific terminology. This can be an impediment for some users. However, constant repetition and experience will result in famiiarity with this terminology. (Pobe 2016, p21).

Reference List

Linkedin. (n.d) Available: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/

Twitter. (n.d) Available: https://twitter.com/?lang=en

Pombo, L ( 2016) .’ Edulabs for the Integration of Technologies in Basic Education —  Monitoring the AGIRE Project’ International Journal of Research in Education and science,  v2 n1 p16-29

 

 

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