Social media are reshaping the education system
With the increased use of social media by schools and universities. More parents and educators are asking how social media are reshaping the education system. Social media has been blamed by some (but not enough) educators for the increasing lack of intellectual stimulation in today’s society. Other experts point to the social nature of the Internet as a huge benefit for kids’ development. And still other people argue that it’s a complete waste of time to see social media as the reason why children are coming up with fewer good ideas.
But there’s one thing that all these arguments can’t contradict:
the way that social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, MyBlogLog, and YouTube have changed the way we connect with one another. These social sites are now more than mere platforms for chatting and sharing photos; they have a major role to play in our children’s educational development. Facebook, for example, has become a haven for families with young kids. Where they can keep each other up to date on family happenings, school activities, and news from home. This means that Facebook is becoming a real force in the education of kids because it allows parents to stay abreast of their kids’ progress. And encourage them in subjects that they might otherwise find it hard to learn.
In fact, Facebook is so major in the world of online social interaction that the company recently became profitable. The rise of MySpace and YouTube to compete with Facebook is an encouraging trend. Both of these sites are gaining millions of daily users. And they’re doing so while providing the educational tools that kids need. The latest buzz surrounding the educational potential of social sites centers around a study done by the Economic and Social Research Council at the University of London.
Social media providing the educational tools that kids need
According to the study, published in the September 2021 edition of the Journal of Economic Behavior& Organization, kids who actively use MySpace or other social networking sites are more likely than their non-friends to be enrolled in school. Other evidence indicates that MySpace may be particularly useful in helping urban youth to go to college. Urban kids represent a tiny proportion of the overall student population. But their increased presence on the internet expands their educational opportunities. The study also indicated that teenagers are especially active on MySpace. The researchers believe that these teenagers “may have been able to access educational resources on the internet. That they would not have been able to access if they had not been on a social networking site.”
The ability of social networking sites like MySpace to help shape kids’ educational systems is the result of what’s called the “Pandemic Effect.” This phrase came about by recognizing that a disease has many different potential sources. But all of them are spread in the same way. In this case, one disease can be spread through the internet, among people who know about it, and through educational systems that use it. Social networking sites are a kind of virus. Kids who visit them are more likely to be infected with it.
This study publishes in the Journal of Applied Research in Education. It looked at two groups of children, neither of which had ever visited a school with internet access before. One group expose to MySpace for a month. The other expose to a different social networking site for three months. What it found was that those kids who frequent internet and MySpace use more than double the amount of words when referring to the same topic as the others. These findings suggest that social media like MySpace may indeed lead to educational success for some children.