Internet and Social media has a huge impact on individuals and lives; with its influence diving across several sectors without leaving out the educational sector. While we acknowledge the detriments of irresponsible use of social media and internet, the advantages should also be appreciated. Internet is a global computer network, providing a variety of information and communication facilities while social media refers to facilities and tools that reduce the world to a global village- websites and applications that enable users to create, share contents and participate in social networking. Common examples are Facebook, Instagram, You-tube, Twitter, etc. These social platforms serve the following purposes:
- Great communication tools to connect with several people in different parts of the world.
- Access to positive and relatively free information
- Opportunities to launch businesses online
Undoubtedly, there are a number of negative effects posed by the misuse of social media and the internet. These may include:
- Reduced learning and research capabilities:
Students have tilted to relying more on the information easily accessible on the social networking sites and the web. Thus, encouraging plagiarism and reducing logical and critical thinking abilities.
Students who get involved in activities on social media sites while studying are prone to loss of focus and disturbed attention. This may be affect academic performance and study concentration.
- Reduces command over language usage and creative writing skills:
Due to several slang words or social messaging abbreviations commonly used on social networking sites, some students have lost their command of proper polite communication, language and creative writing skills.
- Effect on health:
The excessive use of social media platforms which leads to subsequent addictions, affects the physical and mental health of students making them lethargic and unmotivated to relate.
- But all is not bad with social media. In today’s world of connected learning, the positive impact of social media on education is becoming a driving factor. The world is becoming smaller, and through the use of social media, the way we deliver instruction is changing. Below are some listed benefits of internet and social media access in Education.
- By spending much time working with new technologies, students develop more familiarity with computer and other electronic devices.
- The ease and speed with which users can upload pictures, video and stories has resulted in greater amount of sharing creative works and instant feedbacks from family and friends helps students refine and develop their artistic abilities.
- Students now have the ability to reach out to industry experts across disciplines and this can help the students locate more authoritative sources of information.
- Access to Information and informative articles and materials: there are several informative articles on the internet that students could web surf to develop themselves in any field of study.
- Access to online studies, distance learning: students get to be taught online through social media platform such as Skype without being physically present with the tutor.
- Easy means of communication and collaborating in research and learning: it is easy for students to collaborate on various team projects using social media. They can create Facebook group or even just use Twitter hashtags to communicate about a project and share ideas.
- Easier means of storing educational material: For example, instead of having 100 textbooks in paper form, but with an access to Google drive it can be saved on it and available for use anywhere it is needed.
- Development of artificial robots embedded in websites that can read out the article and you just do the listening.
- Social networking teaches students skills they will need to survive in the business world.
Conclusively, the use of social media and internet among students should not be completely tagged detrimental. It is however advised that students be tutored on responsible use of the social media and the internet.