Chapter 10 - Social media and education: Main Challenges, Strengths and Weaknesses of Mobile Apps in Education
The use of Social Media as a communication, advertizing and news tool is quite common in daily life. Users of social media networks are getting younger. Even primary school aged children are engaged in social networks. In the last years the potential of social media in education and learning has become more important. Many students use social media in their social private life and are willing to use it in the field of learning.
However, the use of social media tools/platforms for educational matters has to be well reflected as there are topics like privacy protection laws and regulations, copy rights, cyber bullying and more to take into consideration. In addition, age range of target groups has to be reflected and considered.
In this chapter you will gain a deeper insight about Social Media Tools/platforms, learn about their strengths and weaknesses in the field of education, get knowledge about the social media generation and you will find out about some examples of good practice for using social media in education against the background of different target groups
As long there are humans walking this earth social systems are existing. Moving in our society means for every single individual to take in information, ask for it, produce it, process it and communicate to accomplish ones‘ goals or to satisfy ones' needs.
The term "Social Media" means networking, communication, collaboration and cooperation among individuals using the internet. Social Networks, Weblogs, Microblogs and Photo- or video platforms are typical representatives. Well known platforms are Twitter, Facebook, snapchat, Instagram or YouTube.
Digital technologies are expanding in all areas of life which leads to major changes in our social structures as in working places, education or private life’s. Digital media have impacts on the younger generations looking on their socialisation processes. They experience something which is called "always-on".
Moving on from web 1.0 which was highly driven by companies and institutions we are now in a field where almost everyone can contribute 24 hours a day. This phenomenon is called Web 2.0 which is on the rise since the early years of the new millennium. During the times of web 1.0 data was produced top down. Companies were programming websites and users could get information from it. Nowadays potentially everybody is able to produce content and share it on the web. Others are able to pick the content up, expand it, change it, learn it and develop something completely different out of it. These are the principles of the term Web 2.0 (Schmidt, 2013).
In this chapter we were taking a deeper look into Social Media and the tools it provides. The internet is a great field filled up with many possibilities and chances to enhance our daily lives and make things easier for us.
At the same time to cope with all those tools which are changing very fast it is indispensable to teach our children how to use digital media and give them competences both to work with the internet and critically reflect the ongoing processes in it.
On educational backgrounds the internet often has a negative touch. Teachers ban mobile devices from their classrooms instead of including the potentials of it into their teaching. At the same time more and more students are asking to be trained to use digital media as their later work fields require competences among digital technologies.