We primarily use social media to connect with our friends from different parts of the world. It has allowed us to be updated on what our friends are up to. It keeps us up to date to where our friends are, what they're doing at the moment, and even see what they're having for lunch.
What if I told you that social media can also be used, not only for entertainment and communication, but also for learning?
1. Learning through Online Communities
You'll be surprised to know that most, if not all, experts and advocates of your interest group are members of at least two online communities. And it is through social media and these communities that we get to learn from each other. We can engage with the experts through regular community chats in Twitter. We can keep updated in our communities' Facebook and LinkedIn Pages. We can also watch the experts' recorded webinars/seminars in Youtube and keep updated with the latest trends of our chosen niche in Pinterest. Social media has connected us with experts, groups, and advocates from the different parts of the globe and gave us direct access to them.
2. Self-Learning Through Online Videos
Youtube is one of the best things that ever happened to online education. It provides us with how-to's on almost anything - allowing us to learn and do things on our own. From simple life-hacks like making the most of your mobile phone's battery, to more difficult tasks like learning how to bake cupcakes and cookies, to applying more complex theories like instructional design and using an elearning authoring tool - Youtube has provided us with videos that can help us in our everyday (and professional) lives.
3. Learning Through Niche Blogs
Most experts in our chosen niche or field of work write blogs. These blogs are a gold mine of information as they share the experts' best practices, advice, studies, and realizations. Through these blogs, we can find out what works and what doesn't and apply them in our own practice. What's more is that we can get a lot of ideas that we can also apply on our own life or profession.
4. Learning by Sharing Knowledge
Another use of social media for learning is instantly sharing knowledge we found helpful or interesting. Almost all websites have icons that allow us to instantly share an article or video to our followers on different social media platforms. This, in turn, allows our followers/friends to also learn from the material that we just shared. Just take a look at our Facebook news feed - I'm sure one time or another we've clicked a link shared by a friend that interested us (and we learned from).
There you go! These are the 4 roles that social media plays in online education. If you want to share your experience, please let us know through the comments field below. Cheers!