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The continual growth of social media—as a form of classroom technology—has brought new avenues and environments for students to communicate and collaborate with one another. More importantly, these environments shape the ways students portray their willingness and openness to work with others specifically in online learning environments. As such, educators across the world are working to figure out how these social media platforms promote better engagement and improve healthy interactions among students while minimizing some of the adverse effects of excessive social media usage. For a similar reason, Ruth Reynard, an author from Campus Technology, explains one significant problem many educators face when attempting to incorporate social media in the classroom:
Social media has evolved into a tool for creating and promoting the ‘self,’ creating a tension between encouraging individual expression and overemphasizing the self in a collaborative setting (Reynard).
Unsurprisingly enough, there is a balance that must be struck between helping students develop their collaborative skills while also ensuring that they maintain their focus—which, for the most part, is easier said than done. The rise in social media has given users of all ages a platform to communicate and self-identify; furthermore, “the obsessive focus on self has had repercussions” most notably with social isolation and excessive social media use (Reynard).
By and large, however, as classrooms inevitably evolve into more online collaborative environments, educators will have to develop new and innovative strategies that take the best parts of social media technologies to entice students in ways that improve student contribution, participation, and engagement in the classroom.
For more information, read the full article on Campus Technology.