Social Media Impacting Higher Education

   The topic of this Ustream   is the “Future of  Social Media and how it impacts higher education now, today, and tomorrow’s work force.  The current social media tools is becoming a demand for distance learning. Social media is revolutionary and collaborating the current tools colleges use.There is a 70% increase in online student enrollment, which  means 1 in 4 students are taking online classes. 85% of college students are on Facebook, which makes sense to utilize social media tools  for academic purposes.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4470423

There are 6 million non-traditional students with 25% of them being over thirty. Half of them will get their degree in 4-6 years or drop out because there is that lack of engagement. What does this mean? It means that there are students that learn in different ways and social media can be used to reach every student’s learning ability and give a platform to further their employment skills. People are returning to further their education due to the economy today. Therefore, open content allows these students to understand their classroom assignment using social media tools more than they would in the classroom.

 This points out a real issue on lack of engagement, which is why I decided to go to Middle Georgia College before transferring to a university. In a university, typically there are 200-300 students enrolled in one class and participation is 30% of your grade. How does that impact  your learning? If you don’t participate, you’re out of luck. With Facebook such as, every student can receive their participation points and interact with a class discussion or topic using a Facebook discussion board. For example, a professor can bookmark or create tags if they’re willing on a Facebook page  instead of the traditional way of posting study guides, notes, on the Blackboard learning system. However, playing a devil’s advocate, faculty have to learn not only how to use it, but how to” integrate grading using these other tools”, said Dr.Kathy King.

Faculty have to learn how to use blogs, skype, twitter,and podcasts for academic purposes. This transformation and trend allows students to go beyond the classroom to communicate in the “real world.” For example, I am very impressed with all of my professors at Georgia Southern University, but there’s one who I didn’t understand her method of madness if you will. Her name (all of you are familiar with I’m sure) is Barbara Nixon. Why do we have to use Twitter in our PR Writing class?, why do I have to blog when we have to learn how to write press releases and other traditional public relations writing?, why use PR Open Mic? and my last question was “how in the world am I going to keep up with all these various social media websites along with being required to have a LinkedIn account for her Practicum class?

Barbara B. Nixon is a prime example of how social media impacts higher education. She required us to do all of this so that we can interact with other professionals in our field, to learn how social media is impacting the way public relations is transitioning, and how companies are using these websites for interviews and background research on people. I wouldn’t have learned what I know now if she didn’t do this, which is why I believe this topic is very interesting and needs to be discussed. I use Twitter to interact with my professors and to ask them questions if need be because it’s in real-time and they can “retweet” my questions to their followers (who are other professors) to answer my questions more effectively. Blogging is showing me how to write professionally and interact with other college students around the globe. I use PROpen Mic for my internship and job search and to interact with other colleagues in my field of study who are in my shoes.  If it wasn’t for social media overlapping the present college tools like the blackboard system, I would be lost.

With all of this being said,  here are some questions to think about:

  • how will college tuition be affected with the adoption of using social media tools
  •  are colleges going to transition to using E-books?
  • if so, what does that mean for textbook companies such as McGrawHill?
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2 Responses to “Social Media Impacting Higher Education”

  1. Natalia Says:

    This is a great post! I personally enjoy my online classes because I find it easier to retain information when I can work on it alone and develop my own ways of understanding. My conflict comes when I have to juggle both face-to-face courses with online courses because of scheduling and time-management. I think universities should switch over to e-books if not because of the social media craze at least because of the Going Green initiative everyone is pushing. The way Professor Nixon’s classes are setup makes it easier for me to manage because I enjoy blogging and other forms of social media. After being in PR courses that have adopted newer practices it is difficult to attend a course that involves you sitting in a seat for an hour and fifteen minutes while the professor lectures out of the book or reads a PowerPoint word-for-word. I would like to see all courses pick up some of the newer practices. I don’t think college tuition would be affected at all or at it least it wouldn’t be cheaper. I believe tuition may even go up because of all of the things it takes to manage online courses or possible networking problems.

  2. The Comment Tango « SoTal Says:

    […] Social Media Impacting Higher Education by Lauren Hopkins […]

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