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051 Social media and edtech

Technology has already been witnessing significant changes in the education system for decades; nevertheless, the global pandemic has developed a desperate necessity for disruptive innovation in education. The disruptive invention, the business phrase invented by Clayton Christensen, relates to a phase in which the service or product is primarily rooted in basic applications at the bottom of the market and then rises in the market unceasingly, ultimately displacing existing rivals.

In education, as in other sectors, technical advancements reflect ongoing prospects for transformative advancement, including learning management systems, such as Schoology, Google Classroom, Canvas, Blackboard, et cetera. Not long ago, these learning management systems were just innovative ideas. Today, learning management systems have become standard education systems. They now have entirely removed the need for paper and pencil, which were formerly identified with education.

Social media applications, such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, could be used to interrupt the status quo of instruction and ignite moments of inspiration by brilliant creative thinking. When viewed from a different angle, social media offers teachers new opportunities to improve student participation in the virtual learning environment. In the recent TikTok of a Texas middle school math instructor explaining the concept of combining integers, the instructor carried out the math example in the 17-second video clip without using words. Instead, quick action steps which correlate to each step were shown — the effectiveness in the innovativeness matters in the end. The video clip was made using a famous musical voiceover in the background, and it has more than 1.5 million views.

As education prepares to plunge into virtual learning, the use of social media patterns is undoubtedly a thought worthy of consideration. Far more so given findings on the diminished focus of students during remote education. Technology has been developed as a strong foundation for teaching and learning; however, there is a fine line between striking the right balance between using technology, including social media, to impact student involvement and provide high-quality education significantly.

Gone were the days when teachers are the sole gatekeepers of information. Today, the advent of social media is creating the key to information. Simple access to public knowledge has led to a shift in teachers’ position from being solely teacher-led to increasingly student-led. Teachers must acknowledge the change to a learning facilitator that enables technology to be an educational ally when implemented thoughtfully. Instead of being the primary source of information, facilitating instruction promotes student academic ownership and personalized learning. The essence of education is to teach people how to think for themselves. However, the challenge is to find effective ways to catch and hold the attention of students who excel in a multi-sensory society that promotes immediate gratification at a glance. This divide can only continue to expand as education becomes interactive. A sense of disruptive innovation in education is required to compete within the increasing brand of virtual learning. Perhaps using social media to reach out and micro-teaching students may provide teachers with a new set of skills required for virtual learning.

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